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Wisconsin CU League News Release - 2/6/12


Need cash? Website shows how to get your tax refund fast and free, help to file


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Christine Henzig
Director of Communications
(262) 549-0200, Ext. 6019


Pewaukee, WI - You’re probably already seeing or hearing ads urging you to turn your income tax refund into much-needed cash. But instead of paying fees to a tax preparer for a speedy refund, use a deposit account you already have (or open one) so you won’t lose a penny of what you have coming.

The website explains how you can access a free refund whether you prepare your own taxes, use a paid tax preparation service, or use any of the hundreds of sites around the state offering people with limited incomes free help to prepare and file their tax forms. The site explains how to use direct deposit to get a no-cost tax refund, where to find free tax assistance sites and what to bring for help with filing.

According to the Wisconsin Credit Union League, which maintains the site, every one of Wisconsin’s more than 2 million credit union members already has a savings account that can be used to receive a free tax refund. Those who don’t have an account can open one at a not-for-profit credit union by placing as little as $5 on deposit – money that remains yours.

Many low-income filers looking to pay bills and meet immediate needs turn to paid tax preparers to obtain a rapid refund. However, many paid firms charge fees for both the preparation and speedy processing that take a big bite out of a refund.

One of the costliest rapid refund methods that charged as much as several hundred percent in interest – the refund anticipation loan, or RAL – is becoming extinct because of recent changes by the IRS and regulators. But a new product that many paid tax firms are offering in its place has a big bite of its own. The refund anticipation check (RAC) costs around $30, but some tax preparers charge “add on” fees ranging from $25 to several hundred dollars. Direct deposit to a savings account, in contrast, is totally free.


Wisconsinites saved an estimated $14.4 million last year by using free tax assistance sites and/or direct deposit. Visit to learn more.

The REAL Solutions Scorecard explains how Wisconsin credit unions delivered $201 million in benefits to Wisconsin consumers in 2011. Read it at


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