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CUs encouraged to seek VITA grants
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/3/08)—Another layer is being plotted for the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) efforts to encourage credit unions to offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services to their membership and community. The agency announced Wednesday that it will partner with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to produce an informational video on the IRS’ VITA program. The video will be entitled, “Establishing a VITA Site: How and Why.” VITA is an IRS program that helps low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. Credit unions and community organizations receive IRS provided training in the preparation of basic tax returns and establishment of tax preparation sites. The video will encourage credit unions to offer VITA services to their membership and community, with a special emphasis on use of the IRS VITA Grant Program, according to an NCUA release. Credit unions are eligible to apply to that program, an $8 million, one-year initiative designed to extend VITA Program services to underserved populations and hard-to-reach areas, both urban and rural. A notice in the July 1 Federal Register noted that applications for the VITA matching grant program currently are available and the deadline for submissions is Sept. 2. Funding for the program was approved by the 2008 Treasury appropriations legislation. The video, according to the NCUA, is designed to complement the agency’s 2007 webinar focusing on credit union partnerships with community groups in providing and promoting VITA services. The NCUA plans to have the video posted on its NCUA’s The Resource Connection website by August 1.
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