MCUCD text
February 2013Vol 4, Issue 2
mcucd collage
We can make a difference
Message From MCUCD


This week is Valentine's Day, which for many is a day to honor those in our lives that bring love and happiness. For others, it's a little torturous and somewhat commercialized.


I love a day that is set aside to think about love. I'm so blessed with family and friends that nurture my soul with kindness and joy.


I'm also blessed to work for an organization that celebrates love in many ways. We love serving others and that-in-and-of itself is maybe the purest way to show love.


This month, staff is deep in the drenches of tax season but it's more than just answering questions and plugging in numbers. It's about committed volunteers who care about their communities enough to help others get the most out of their tax return without it costing them a dime. What a great gift of love and generosity.


We've had a successful Earn Income Tax Credit Day, VITA for Education Day and as a way to love and honor soldiers who serve this great country we are helping with VITA for Vets on Valentine's Day. These days are events set aside to bring awareness to the tax credits that help hard-working Montanans.


I know some say Valentine's Day is spurred by card and candy companies, and I don't disagree, but I will take advantage of the opportunity to honor those who share their love with me, with their families and friends, and with the community.


Happy Day of Love,


In This Issue
Making a Difference
February Consumer Topic
Quick Links  

Join our Mailing List!


Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Making a Difference

Educational Tax Credit Helpful to Students


Tyler Skidmore, a sophomore at Carroll College, has already completed his tax forms and is expecting a return.


"I'm so excited to get my return because I qualified for the educational tax credit," the political science and economics major said. "This semester I have to pay for college so it was a much needed break."


Many students qualify for such educational tax credits and an event was held Saturday morning at five locations across the state to raise awareness. Skidmore expects to receive a $1,000 credit.


"It's fantastic," Skidmore, who intends to eventually attend law school, said.


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for Education Day is a statewide collaborative between Montana GEAR UP, Montana's Credit Unions, CAP of NW Montana, United Way of Yellowstone County, HRDC IV and Senior Corps. Events were held in five cities across the state and Sen. Jon Tester stopped in at the Helena site to help bring awareness and hoping to open up opportunities for students and their families.


VITA for Education
(L-R) Senator Jon Tester visits Saturday morning with Carroll College student Tyler Skidmore, Karen Smith, executive director of MCUCD, and Jan Lombardi,
director of Montana GEAR UP about education tax credits at the 
VITA for Education event at Trico Community Credit Union

"The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program brings talented folks together to help put our next generation on the path towards higher education," Tester said. "Their outstanding work is helping Montana families take the first step toward getting their sons and daughters federal assistance for college."


Completing tax forms is an essential step for determining financial aid eligibility for grants, scholarships and loans to pay for college. The VITA program provides a strong network of providers and IRS-certified volunteers to help Montanans not only complete taxes, but share tips on how to prepare, save and pay for college. It ultimately presents the option of postsecondary education for every student.


According to Wendi Castle with the Internal Revenue Service in Helena there are several tax deductions and tax credits for students. She suggests that individuals and families go through their tax returns and use the one that is best. VITA sites provide tax preparation free of charge for those who make less than $51,000 annually. For more information visit the VITA for Education tab on
Consumer Topic of the Month
CRC Graphic


It is proven that saving energy saves you money. If you start taking small steps now, you will save hundreds of dollars throughout this year. This month's topic focuses on "Reducing Energy Costs." Visit the MCUCD website for ways to reduce energy costs and ideas on implementing a long-term energy saving plan.


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 keep their families warm this winter while reducing energy costs throughout the year.