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February 2011Vol 2, Issue 2
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TOGETHER
We can make a difference
A Message From
MCUCD's Director of Outreach Services 
 

While working on a series of financial education presentations recently, I ran across this quote that really got me thinking.

 

"It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."       
                                                    - George Horace Lorimer

 

After first reading the quote, it's clear that it's relevant to the economic times today. But, this message said more to me. It seems like everyone you talk to is feeling inundated at work with large workloads, not enough staff, information overload, lack of appreciation, deadlines-deadlines-deadlines - heads are spinning! In all this chaos we risk losing sight of not only our purpose - but the passion. 

 

Here's my challenge to you - step away from your desk, the stacks of papers, your email, and reflect on just how the work you do, the programs and services you offer, or the volunteer hours you spend are making a difference. 

 

There is a great deal synergy among the asset building programs in Montana, let's not lose sight of why we're doing what we're doing! You are making a difference, and here at MCUCD, we appreciate your hard work!

  
 Karen

 
In This Issue
Making a Difference
AmeriCorps*VISTA Members
February Consumer Topic
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Making A Difference
 

With the April 18th deadline to submit tax returns on the horizon, Americans are preparing once again for the tax preparation ritual - oftentimes with anxiety and confusion. Fortunately, MontanaFreeFile.org is available to help consumers navigate the process and determine which tax filing option is best for them.

MontanaFreeFile.org is the one-stop online resource for the best of free tax preparation services. Visitors can determine which service is right for them based on their location, age, and income. Within minutes, taxpayers can be on their way to filing their return - safely, easily, and for free.

VITA - 1040Among the options found on the MontanaFreeFile website is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, a free tax filing service available to individuals with a household income below $49,000 per year. Trained volunteers complete basic tax returns for eligible individuals at VITA sites across the state. A complete list of VITA sites in Montana can be found at MontanaFreeFile.org.

For those who would like to prepare their tax return themselves, MontanaFreeFile.org links to two great online tax preparation sites, I-CAN E-File and IRS Free File. Both of these tools provide taxpayers with free access to tax filing software that makes completing a return simple and quick.

It is important for Montanans - especially working Montana families on tight budgets - to receive the best tax-filing help available. Tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Making Work Pay, and the Child Tax Credit can provide tremendous assistance to these households, but every year many eligible individuals overlook them. With the resources available at MontanaFreeFile.org, Montanans can be sure that they are receiving the best help possible.

Taxpayers should also be aware of the high costs of Tax Refund Loans provided by some tax preparers. In effect, taking out a loan on your tax refund means paying interest and service fees to borrow your own money. With any of the tax preparation services found on MontanaFreeFile.org, they can have their full refund in as little as 8 days.

MontanaFreeFile.org was formed in 2005 out of a collaborative effort and has expanded to include both government and non-profit organizations: Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD), Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), Montana Department of Revenue, Rural Dynamics Inc., AARP Tax-Aide Montana, and Opportunity Link, Inc.  MontanaFreeFile.org continues to exist to help Montana consumers keep more of what they earn. 

Welcome Thor Kasenko - AmeriCorps*VISTA Member

black and white headshot of Thor

 

 

The MCUCD team is very excited to welcome a new Americorps*VISTA Member. Thor Kasenko started his year of service on January 24 and will be working in Billings. He will be focusing his year on outreach for MCUCD programs. We're excited to have him on board and are confident he'll have a terrific year working with Montana's credit unions.

Consumer Topic of the Month
 
CRC GraphicMontanaFreeFile.org
MontanaFreeFile.org is the one-stop online resource for the best of free tax preparation services. Visitors can determine which service is right for them based on their location, age, and income. Within minutes, taxpayers can be on their way to filing their return - safely, easily, and for free.

Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month for more information on MontanaFreeFile.org - your free tax filing resource.