ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/13/10)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz again encouraged “qualified credit unions” to apply for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grants from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the NCUA. Matz earlier this year announced that the NCUA would expand its involvement in the VITA program. VITA is an IRS program that helps low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. Credit unions and community organizations receive IRS-provided training in the preparation of basic tax returns and establishment of tax preparation sites. “The more credit unions provide this service to underserved taxpayers, the greater the likelihood that low-income families can build a solid financial foundation for their future,” Matz added. The IRS recently announced that it would award just under $12 million in VITA-related funds would be made available during 2010. Credit unions that wish to apply for VITA grants must do so by July 9. According to the NCUA, there is no maximum grant amount, but applicants must be able to provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds for its VITA-related programs and appropriate documentation. The NCUA also administers its own VITA initiative. This initiative provides a total of $125,000 in funds for credit unions, which may receive up to $6,500 in funds for their individual requests. A total of 541 credit unions participated in the VITA program in 2009. Members of credit unions that participated in credit union-based VITA tax prep programs received $20.9 million in tax refunds during 2009. For the NCUA release, use the resource link.