| Pictured left to right: Bill Umphlett-SVP Financial Advisory Services, Debra Patterson-Territory Mgr. IRS SPEC, Tenesha Carter-SVP Tax Preparation Services, and Fred McEllicott-Area 1 Director IRS SPEC
State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is gearing up to help members save millions of dollars through various tax preparation services, including the no-cost Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and SECU’s own low cost tax preparation service. This year’s gear up follows the recent meeting of SECU representatives with IRS Stakeholder Partnership, Education and Communication (SPEC) Area 1 Director, Fred McEllicott, and new SPEC Territory Manager, Debra Patterson. Having offered the IRS VITA service each of the previous four years and a low cost service for two years, SECU has helped members save millions in fees and claim larger refunds through tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In 2011, Credit Union tax preparers filed over 53,000 returns, with members receiving $82 million in refunds and saving $7.9 million in tax preparation fees.
From January 23rd through April 17th of 2012, members can contact any of SECU’s 239 branches to schedule an appointment with a local SECU tax preparer. Members with basic tax return needs and a 2011 household income of $50,000 or less may qualify for the no-cost VITA program. For those with basic return needs who surpass the $50,000 income limit, SECU’s low cost tax preparation program is an option at just $75 per return. Electronic filing is available with both services, allowing members to receive their tax refund in as little as 8-15 days.
Because SECU knows some members prefer to complete their own tax returns, the Credit Union also offers Intuit’s TurboTax® as a tax filing alternative available online at www.ncsecu.org. By going through the SECU website, members will receive a 15% discount off standard online TurboTax® rates.
Tenesha Carter, SECU Senior Vice President of Tax Preparation Services states, “For the last few years, SECU has had great success assisting members through free and low cost tax prep services, helping them keep more of their money for life’s necessities. With 239 SECU locations statewide and through elevated member awareness of these offerings, we hope to increase our reach even more. In a struggling economy, everyone needs to take advantage of all money-saving opportunities for which they qualify, and SECU tax preparers are ready to help members do just that!”