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SECUs tax program saved consumers 8 million in credits
RALEIGH, N.C. (4/25/08)--State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) staff helped 15,000 qualifying individuals claim more than $8 million in tax credits over a three-month span.
Mark Coburn (right), a State Employees’ Credit Union employee, helps a North Carolina consumer with income tax preparation through the credit union’s participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. (Photo provided by State Employees’ Credit Union)
Through participation in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA), the credits included earned income tax credits of $4.7 million and child tax credits of over $2.3 million, with a total of $14 million in tax refunds. Since VITA services are free, those who were helped by the program also saved more than $2.2 million in tax preparation fees. All 217 SECU branches served as VITA sites this year--the first year the credit union had participated, with two trained SECU employees serving as VITA representatives in each branch. SECU partnered with Local Government FCU, Raleigh, and the IRS to offer the VITA service, which assists low- to moderate-income taxpayers in claiming eligible tax credits and avoiding tax return preparation fees. “The VITA program is just one more way SECU has made a difference for North Carolinians and reaffirmed our mission,” said Shirley Bell, SECU board of directors chairman. “Keeping money in the pockets of our members is key to helping ensure their financial success, and the VITA service was instrumental in allowing SECU to assist North Carolinians in claiming their tax credits and refunds, placing millions of dollars into North Carolina’s economy,” she said.


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