WASHINGTON (3/30/09)--As a resource for credit unions providing free tax services as part of the REAL Solutions program, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is distributing a new report that suggests credit unions can raise revenue by providing tax services in different venues. The Economics of Serving Low-Income Employees at Tax Time: Implications for Credit Unions
was published this month by the Filene Research Institute and partially funded by NCUF (News Now
, March 26). Rather than tweaking existing Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs, the report suggests opportunities for credit unions to provide fee-based tax assistance to:
* Credit union employees; * Members and non-members--especially those residing in densely populated, low-income or underserved areas, and; * Large companies’ employees--especially select employee groups of credit unions.
The report suggests that credit unions could partner with tax preparers, non-profits, and corporations to provide fee-based tax assistance in the workplace--an often overlooked delivery channel. In the report’s case study, a large company--Staples--saved $480 for each employee who received tax assistance--at a cost of $75. It also proved to be an investment in loyalty. Employees who received tax assistance in the workplace were 32% more likely to remain with their employer a year later. “Fee-based workplace tax assistance could be a new way for credit unions to expand services, build net income, attract new loyal members, and strengthen relationships with companies in their communities,” said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “For all of these reasons, we plan to incorporate findings from this report into the REAL Solutions program moving forward.”