NEW YORK – The Lower East People's Federal Credit Union helped over 80 lower income members find over $150,000 in previously unrealized federal benefits through the Department of the Treasury's Earned Income Tax Credit Program in the first two weeks of its effort, according to a credit union executive. Pablo DeFilippi, CEO of the almost $10 million institution, said the credit union's results came about after its staff and volunteers became trained in the Treasury Department's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) program and had its counseling sites recognized as VITA sites. The effort has also saved the lower income clients over $10,000 in preparation fees, DeFilippi said. The credit union has benefited not only from having more money come to its members, but also by signing up new members who have no depository account into which to put their tax credit. "Our VITA site is available to EITC eligible tax payers to process their tax returns electronically (free-of-charge) and enable them to obtain quick refunds by opening an account and requesting direct deposit of their tax refunds," DeFilippi said.

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