Wrapping up another tax return season, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is pleased to report that it helped more than 77,000 North Carolina taxpayers claim nearly $104 million in refunds, saving these taxpayers approximately $9.4 million in preparation fees! A flexible “no appointment” process made it possible for SECU tax preparers across the State to assist even more members this year. 68,000 members had their 2012 tax returns prepared and filed under the IRS free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, up from last year’s figure of more than 57,000. SECU’s low-cost tax preparation services, offered to members whose income thresholds exceed the $51,000 VITA guideline, also increased its volume to over 9,000 tax returns filed, a 34% spike from the previous year’s 7,000 returns.
Both tax preparation services continue to impact Credit Union members’ financial condition in a positive way. Between the two programs, SECU helped participating members claim nearly $49 million in total tax credits, including $27.6 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, over $18 million in Child Tax Credits, and $3.1 million in Education Tax Credits. And, SECU members will be pleased to know that their cooperative is now an authorized provider of year-round tax preparation services – good news for late filers!
“The success of SECU’s tax preparation services is the result of the committed efforts of 1,800 SECU tax preparers who serve members’ needs with diligence and patience during the busy season,” comments Tenesha Carter, Senior Vice President of SECU Tax Preparation Services. “As a trusted provider of financial services, we are thrilled to help so many members improve their overall financial well-being.”
“The partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and State Employees’ Credit Union has led to the expansion of free tax preparation services in 248 SECU branches serving all 100 North Carolina counties and has contributed to the success of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in the State,” said Debra Patterson, Territory Manager for IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication. “We value our strong relationship with SECU and support the VITA services that SECU provides to such a large contingent of eligible North Carolinians.”