State Employees’ Credit Union Geared Up To Save Members Money With VITA and Other Tax Prep Services
Leigh Brady, Senior Vice President
Education Services, SECU
919-807-8344, fax: 919-807-8348
Raleigh, NC, January 27 – State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is once again helping members “tackle their taxes” and save money with various tax preparation options, including the free Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This is SECU’s fourth year offering the VITA service and second year offering a low-cost tax preparation option for members whose basic returns fall outside of the VITA household income limit of $49,000. Last year, SECU tax preparers filed more than 36,000 returns through the VITA Program, while 2,100 members were assisted with low-cost tax preparation services. Tax preparation is provided in all 236 Credit Union branches statewide and SECU tax preparers are accepting appointments now through April 18th. Electronic filing is available with both services, allowing members to receive their tax refunds in as little as 8-15 days.
Between its VITA and low-cost tax preparation programs, the Credit Union helped members receive $52.8 million in tax refunds while saving them more than $5.4 million in tax preparation fees in 2010. Those members also claimed over $26.2 million in tax credits, including $15.2 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). SECU’s continued efforts to educate members on the EITC and other available tax credits work in conjunction with IRS’s annual EITC Awareness Day campaign to highlight the beneficial Earned Income Tax Credit that goes unclaimed by many eligible taxpayers. This year’s EITC Awareness Day is January 28th. Through its educational efforts, along with an increased number of branches and SECU tax preparers, the Credit Union fully expects to help an even larger number of members in 2011.
Credit Union members who want to complete their own taxes have the option of using Intuit’s TurboTax® at discounted rates through the SECU website, www.ncsecu.org. By going through SECU’s site, members will receive a 15% discount off of standard online TurboTax® rates.
Tenesha Carter, Senior Vice President of SECU’s Tax Preparation Services department, comments, “SECU aggressively looks for new and better ways to help members save money with services that are beneficial and convenient. Through our partnership with the IRS and Intuit, along with SECU’s in-house offering, the Credit Union is helping a tremendous number of members have greater access to free and discounted tax preparation services. In today’s economy, a tax refund provides much needed funds to pay down debt, buy necessities like food and electricity and help people stay in their homes. Our goal is to help members receive all tax credits for which they are eligible and avoid costly tax preparation fees, putting as much tax refund money as possible in their pockets for what they need most!”
SECU is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. SECU has been providing the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 70 years. Currently serving more than 1.6 million members, SECU provides services through 236 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org.