ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCUA is encouraging low-income credit unions to apply for its recently announced aid to participate in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.The agency has earmarked $75,000 for technical assistance grants to aid this free tax preparation assistance for credit union members. This is the second year NCUA and the IRS have worked together to reach out to institutions to offer this service. It is part of NCUA’s continuing efforts to create partnerships with fellow federal regulators and other public and private organizations. IRS uses VITA to increase awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit, asset-building opportunities and financial education services. Interested low-income credit unions must apply to NCUA for 2004-2005 VITA program TAG funding between May 1 and August 31, 2004 for this year’s funds. The VITA grants are expected to average $5,000 per credit union. The funds are aimed at offsetting the administrative and operational costs associated with participating in VITA. “By implementing a VITA program, credit unions may realize growth in low- or no-cost savings accounts and expanded financial literacy training to new and existing members,” NCUA’s news release said. Program packets are being mailed to all low-income designated credit unions.

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