The Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union more than doubled the number of free tax returns prepared in 2014 through the VITA program, preparing 380 free tax returns this year.
This was the seventh year the credit union has participated in the VITA program.
The Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union helped bring more than $266,000 back to the community through Earned Income Tax credits. Additionally, refunds totaled more than $565,000.
"We want to be a resource to Chautauqua County and what better way to help than bringing over half a million dollars back to our tax clients," said John Felton, credit union CEO. "Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union helped to spread the word about the Doorways 2 Dreams program. Fifty people participated by saving a portion of their refund. Five of the 50 participants won $100 each."
Anyone who meets the income guidelines can become a VITA tax client at Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union. The credit union prepares taxes whether the filer is a bank client or not. The credit union has worked cooperatively with the United Way during past tax seasons and has since grown to become a stand-alone site.
"Through the efforts of the staff and administration of the credit union, we have made a real difference for those 380 people who came to us for free tax preparation and we look forward to tax time next year," Felton said.