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News Now

CU System
CDCUs prepare 3500 tax returns for low-incomers
NEW YORK (4/20/09)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions worked closely this tax season with 16 credit unions
Members of Santa Cruz (Calif.) Community CU receive free tax preparation services from a credit union volunteer.
to help low-income people across the country file their taxes for free. The coalition--made up of nine credit unions new to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and seven with previous experience--prepared more than 3,500 tax returns totaling more than $5 million. The amount includes $2.5 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). The coalition VITA sites helped residents of low-income communities save nearly $400,000 in tax-preparation fees, said the federation. Coaltion members included: Alternatives FCU, Ithaca, N.Y.; ASI FCU, Harahan, La.; Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas; Communicating Arts CU, Detroit; District Government Employees FCU, Washington, D.C.; El Futuro CU, Porterville, Calif.; Family FCU, Wilmington, Calif.; Halifax County Community FCU, South Boston, Va.; Ka'u FCU, Na'alehu, Hawaii; NRS Community Development FCU, Birmingham, Ala.; OUR FCU, Eugene, Ore.; Santa Cruz (Calif.) Community CU; Tongass FCU, Ketchikan, Alaska; Triumph Baptist FCU, Philadelphia, Pa.; Winthrop (Mass.) FCU; and Women's Southwest FCU, Dallas.
Sharon Saulters, seated, manager of Triumph Baptist FCU, Philadelphia, with her credit union VITA volunteers, from left: Diane Wilson, Hannah Wallace, Deborah Powell and Latasha Foster. (Photos provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
"We commend the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for recognizing the value of credit union VITA sites and look forward to working closely with them in coming years to help even more low-income people retain their hard-earned cash," said Cliff Rosenthal, federation president/CEO. Many of the credit unions would have been unable to offer the service without support from the IRS, Rosenthal. "These types of programs require significant staff time and many credit unions simply do not have the excess liquidity to support the added expense," he said. The coalition was made possible by a $125,000 grant from the IRS to the federation, the only national tax coalition exclusively representing credit unions. The federation provided technical assistance and financial support to the credit union VITA sites.


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