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News Now

Washington
CUNA to Lawmakers: CU Tax Status Is Dictated By Cooperative Structure
WASHINGTON (4/16/13)--The Credit Union National Association continues the fight to preserve the credit union tax exemption, and sent a letter Monday responding to a House Ways and Means Committee request that asked stakeholders to outline why their tax treatment under the current code should continue.

In the letter to lawmakers, CUNA again emphasized the positive effects of the credit union tax exemption, and the need to maintain the exemption going forward.

The letter is one of many being sent to House Ways and Means Committee members. "Congress is essentially starting with a blank sheet of paper as it rethinks the current taxation system, and everything is up for consideration," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney explained. The CUNA letter, with those of other stakeholders, will be posted on the House Ways and Means Committee website.

The CUNA letter underscored that credit unions were first made tax-exempt by a ruling by the U.S. Attorney General in 1917, and the U.S. Congress conveyed that exemption from federal income tax to state- and federally chartered credit unions because of their ownership structure and special mission. The exemption has been reaffirmed many times, including in 1935, 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1998, the letter noted.

Credit unions' not-for-profit financial cooperative structure allows credit unions to focus totally on member value and service, and, overall, prevents them from taking the types of risks banks take in the name of profits. The not-for-profit structure also creates significant benefits for the nation's 96 million credit union members, including lower rates on loans, lower fees on services, and higher returns on deposits. Non-members also benefit from the exceptional service of credit unions, which keeps competitive pressure on banks, CUNA wrote.

Monday's letter mirrors discussions that Cheney and other CUNA representatives had last week with four members of the powerful tax-policy committee and about 15 staffers. (Use the resource link to read April 12 News Now story: CUNA Supports CU Tax Status At Congressional Staff Briefing)

For the full CUNA letter, use the resource link.
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