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Low-Cost Tax Preparation

Tax return preparation for tax year 2020 is now available in all SECU branches.

SECU’s Low-Cost Tax Preparation service is available to eligible members for a flat fee of $95. SECU tax preparers will complete and electronically file both your federal and North Carolina returns for this one low-cost!

How the Process Works
  1. Take your tax documents, the “Getting Started Kit,” and other items you will need to your local branch.
  2. An SECU tax preparer will review the information, determine if you are eligible to participate in the Low-Cost Tax Preparation service, and ensure you have provided us with the necessary documents needed for us to file an accurate tax return.
  3. An SECU tax preparer will begin working on your tax return, and a completed return will be available for your review and signature as soon as possible.
  4. Once you have signed your return and paid the $95 fee,1 the Credit Union can electronically file2 the return and will provide you a with a copy.

Getting Started – Items You Will Need
The “Getting Started Kit” provides information regarding eligibility, items to bring with you, and several forms that must be completed before meeting with an SECU tax preparer. To reduce wait time at the branch, we suggest you review and complete the “Getting Started Kit,” gather your required information and documentation, and complete the necessary forms prior to coming to the branch.

Along with the completed forms from the “Getting Started Kit,” please also bring the following items when meeting with an SECU tax preparer:

  • Picture ID for yourself (and your spouse, if applicable)
  • Social Security cards for yourself and all other individuals on your return (spouse and all dependents)
  • Your prior year tax return
  • All income documents including W-2s, 1099s and other tax documents
  • Form 1095-A if you had health insurance through the Marketplace
  • Documentation of higher education expenses paid (1098-T forms, receipts for required books and supplies, statements from school, student loan interest, etc.)
  • Daycare expenses and the daycare provider's name, address and tax ID number
  • Documentation of, or a detailed listing to support itemized deductions, if applicable. Such deductions may include the following:
    - Mortgage loan interest paid
    - Charitable contributions
    - Property taxes paid (home and auto)
    - Medical expenses
  • Financial statements or other documents to support retirement plan rollovers
  • Economic Impact Payment (EIP) confirmation letter (correspondence received in 2019 verifying the amount of EIP you received during the COVID-19 pandemic)
In lieu of bringing individual receipts and statements, you can complete and provide the Itemized Deduction Detail Sheet.

Program Eligibility
To participate in SECU’s Low-Cost Tax Preparation service, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Credit Union member
  • Only have tax reporting items within the scope of our program (see list below)
  • Have been a full-year resident of North Carolina or one of its bordering states (Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, or South Carolina) during the tax year
  • Only have income from North Carolina or one of its bordering states during the tax year

The Credit Union can generally prepare your tax return through the Low-Cost Tax Preparation service if the return will not include any of the following items3:

  • Income from states other than North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, or South Carolina
  • Self-employment income that must be reported on Schedule C for businesses with employees, inventory, and/or a net loss
  • Rental income
  • Farm income
  • Active military income (except as explained below)
  • Adoption credits
  • Foreign earned income
  • Non-cash charitable contributions exceeding $500
  • Deductions for business use of the home

NOTE: Returns with active military income (reported on Form W2) are generally outside of our scope except for simple military returns that:

  • Do not require a state return from any state other than North Carolina, and
  • Do not qualify for special tax treatment for the year due to you having served in a combat zone or deductions for expenses related to your military service

Preparing Your Own Taxes
For members who prefer to complete their own taxes, there are a variety of planning and filing resources to guide you through each step of tax return preparation.

  • TurboTax®: SECU has again partnered with Intuit® to offer TurboTax® at a discount of up to $20 to our members, depending on which product is selected, when you start by using this link to TurboTax. With TurboTax, it's easy to do your own taxes and save. TurboTax coaches you every step of the way to the biggest refund you deserve, searching over 350 deductions and credits as you go.
  • IRS e-File: Electronically file your taxes using one of the IRS’s recommended services
  • IRS Free File: Free tax filing services, compliments of the IRS
  • Free Income Tax Assistance: Free tax assistance for qualified individuals
  • Miltax: A Department of Defense Program that generally offers free return preparation and e-filing software for all military members, with no income limit

1Eligible members can choose to have the $95 fee deducted from their tax refund. For more details and eligibility requirements, please contact your local branch.
2In rare instances, returns cannot be electronically filed. In those instances, a tax preparer will provide you with instructions on how to mail your completed return.
3The above list is not all-inclusive. Tax items other than those listed above may be outside of the scope of our program. A Credit Union tax preparer will review all documentation before preparing your return to confirm eligibility. Please contact your local branch for additional details.