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January 2013Vol 4, Issue 1
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TOGETHER
We can make a difference
Message From MCUCD

 

It's January and that means we have kicked off the 2013 VITA season. We have been training volunteers for their IRS certification, while coordinating the logistics of opening tax sites across the state. The VITA program officially begins on Feb. 4th, and we anticipate the next few months being very busy for all of us here at MCUCD and our credit unions. We believe that the VITA program is truly making a difference in Montana and are thankful for all the hardworking volunteers.

 

We look forward to partnering with all of you during tax season and throughout the year.

 

Happy 2013 from the MCUCD team!

 

 

Karen, Rachael, Alana, & Jami

 
In This Issue
Making a Difference
EITC Day
January Consumer Topic
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Making a Difference
VITA Season Begins 

 

2013 VITA Volunteer Training
Butte VITA Volunteer Training

Did you know that the average taxpayer in Montana spends $207 to have their taxes prepared?  For many Montanans this amount isn't feasible. Though, it's no surprise that when taxes are completed by a trained tax specialist, their refunds are higher. There are many locations around the state that offer free tax services to eligible participants through MCUCD's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. VITA is a program that uses IRS-trained and certified volunteers to prepare tax returns for community members who make less than $51,000 and have fairly straightforward tax returns.

     

VITA Program Manager Rachael Milne is on the move this month traveling around the state training volunteers to help hard-working Montanans get the most out of their tax returns. The IRS training is in-depth and we applaud our volunteers who donate their time and knowledge to help with our VITA program. Local volunteers are the backbone of all VITA sites, and this program wouldn't run without them.
   

To help your members and clients find a free tax service, please direct them to MontanaFreeFile.org. MontanaFreeFile.org is a statewide public awareness campaign informing Montanans about the free tax filing options available to them. Taxpayers may also file their own return for free through a partnership between MCUCD and My Free Taxes beginning January 30. 

EITC DAY
Mark Your Calendars 

 taxes

Many people who are eligible to have their taxes prepared at a VITA site can also receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Next Friday, Jan. 25, is EITC Day--a day to bring national awareness to the benefits of the tax credit. Recipients of EITC work and pay taxes and according to the National Community Tax Coalition the EITC is the best tool for reducing poverty among children because it offers families temporary support to stay out of poverty.

 

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a very important refundable tax credit for Montana families. Last year, $638,259 was returned in EITC dollars thanks to VITA volunteers throughout the state.

Consumer Topic of the Month
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Filing income taxes is stressful for most of us. It is hard to know what documents to keep, what deductions you can claim, and refunds for which you qualify. This month we will be focusing on "Income Tax Basics," while sharing tips on where you can go to file returns for free and resources on how to maximize your refund.

 

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 navigate their important financial documents this tax season.