The $24 billion State Employees’ Credit Union said it helped nearly 65,000 North Carolina taxpayers save more than $8 million in preparation fees and claim more than $86 million in refunds this tax season.
The Raleigh-based credit union said preparers in its IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, working through its network of 241 branches, filed more than 57,000 member returns compared with 48,000 last tax season.
“For members whose income thresholds fall above the VITA guidelines, SECU’s low-cost tax preparation services helped 7,000 tax return filers, up 30% from the nearly 5,000 served in 2011,” the credit union said, adding that more than 26,000 of its 1.7 million members used the discounted TurboTax services available through SECU’s website.
Helping members take all their rightful deductions also is a goal of the SECU program, and 65,000 members claimed more than $40.7 million in tax credits in 2012, including $22.7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and more than $12 million in Child Tax Credits, SECU said.
“VITA and low-cost tax prep services appointments also provide SECU staff time to assist members with budgeting and financial counseling,” the credit union said.
Tenesha Carter, SECU’s senior vice president of tax preparation services, said, “Our goal at SECU is to help members and all North Carolinians keep more money in their pockets. The dedicated efforts of credit union tax preparers are helping SECU achieve that goal, and the amount of dollars saved on tax preparation fees confirms the positive difference SECU is making in the financial well-being of our state.”
Debra Patterson, territory manager for IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication, said, “SECU’s participation in the VITA program continues to exceed our expectations. With a statewide network of 241 branches, the credit union offers increased availability of VITA’s quality, free tax assistance for member taxpayers who qualify and ensures that IRS VITA services are available in all 100 North Carolina counties.”