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More than $12 million available for VITA and elderly tax counseling grants

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced it will award nearly $12 million in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) grants. The VITA and TCE application deadline is July 9, 2010.

IRS VITA grants provide funding to qualified nonprofit organizations, including credit unions, enabling them to offer free tax preparation for underserved people in hard-to-reach areas. Related TCE grants fund free tax preparation and counseling services for individuals 60 and over. The TCE program also funds training and technical assistance for volunteers who provide free Federal income tax preparation assistance in retirement communities.

"By providing free tax preparation in hard-to-reach areas, credit unions offer a vital community service that helps low-income workers receive full credit for their hard-earned dollars," said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. "I strongly encourage qualified credit unions to apply for VITA grants from IRS as well as from NCUA. The more credit unions provide this service to underserved taxpayers, the greater the likelihood that low-income families can build a solid financial foundation for their future."

The IRS TCS grant program is open to credit unions and other qualified non-profit organizations. Eligible organizations must qualify for tax exemption under Section of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. They include, but are not limited to, credit unions, educational institutions or faith-based and community organizations, and regional, statewide, or local coalitions with one lead organization that meets eligibility requirements. The lead organization filing the application must have a substantive role in the coalition.

There is no maximum grant amount. However, all applicants must obtain dollar-for-dollar matching funds and provide appropriate documentation to the IRS. For example, if a credit union requests $50,000 in grant funds, it must provide at least $50,000 in matching designated VITA Program funds.

Click here to see the IRS 2010 VITA application, with specifics regarding eligibility and program requirements.