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October 2012Vol 3, Issue 10
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We can make a difference
Message From MCUCD

October has already been really exciting for us at MCUCD. As you'll read below, MCUCD, along with our wonderful partners, received an IRS grant to continue providing VITA services throughout our state. Through this grant we'll be expanding our services with new sites in Bozeman, Livingston, and Whitefish. Speaking on behalf of our partners, we are truly honored to continue to provide free tax help to those who need it most--hardworking families.


October is also the time of year we start getting ready for VITA with recruitment and planning for the upcoming training. I've been taking calls from potential volunteers from across the state. I'm excited about the enthusiasm these folks have. Maybe you've seen our inserts in your October credit union statement or our lobby posters? If not, check them out here. Please help us spread the word! Volunteers are needed at sites throughout the state and word of mouth is the best recruitment tool.


I hope you're enjoying the changing leaves and this crisp weather! 



VITA Program Manager 





In This Issue
Making a Difference
Converting to .COOP
October Consumer Topic
Quick Links  


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Making a Difference
Montana VITA Partnership Receives Mulit-Year Grant
Preparing taxes can be a daunting and expensive task for many of us, but thanks to a grant awarded this month it just got a whole lot easier for those who qualify. 51 locations, 29 of which are credit unions, across Montana will continue to offer free tax help at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites thanks to an $80,000 grant from the Internal Revenue Service. The average taxpayer in Montana spends $207 to have their taxes prepared, according to the National Society of Accountants. The grant provides this service to families and individuals for free if they earn less than $50,000 and have fairly straight-forward returns.


Jane Nolan with Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana said that her part of the state is still struggling to recover from the downturn in the economy."The refunds generated through the VITA  program bring a huge economic boost not only to the families themselves but to the local economy," Nolan said. "Low -income families received the benefit of more than $250,000 in Earned Income Credits this past season. We expect this number to increase during the upcoming tax season."


MCUCD leads a statewide partnership of VITA providers working together to standardize practices and attract funding. Montana VITA partners include United Way of Yellowstone County, HRDC- Billings, Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana, the HRDC Bozeman, and Havre's Opportunity Link, Inc. Local volunteers are the backbone of all 51 VITA sites. Last year, nearly 176 volunteers assisted with 4,893 tax preparations.


Many sites are currently recruiting volunteer tax preparers to electronically file high quality returns helping taxpayers receive all eligible refunds and credits. Training is provided for free and no experience is necessary. Potential volunteers can contact Rachael at (406) 324-7459 or email.

Converting to .COOP
Email Changes  
In the spirit of cooperatives, the Network has transistioned to new email addresses. Please start updating your contact lists and records for the MCUCD team:
                            Karen Smith,  
                            Rachael Milne,
                            Jami Kirksey,
 If you have any problems reaching us, please just give us a call: 1-800-745-5546.
Consumer Topic of the Month
Medical Identity Theft

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Medical ID theft can cost you thousands of dollars, constant stress, and even threaten your life and health. Unless you check your medical records closely, you may discover you were defrauded only after the damage has been done. Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month to learn about Medical Identity Theft.


Visit our Consumer Resource page to access resources for the current "Topic of the Month," including a newsletter article, poster, resource guide, and a featured resource. You can also find links to the same documents from past months' topics. Use them to educate your members, clients, and community on consumer topics to help them understand their medical paperwork to recognize identity theft--ensuring that their finanical wellbeing remains healthy.