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Planning

Guide to Tax Preparation

young couple with paperwork on computer

We offer a variety of planning and filing resources to guide you through each step of tax completion.

Collect tax documents

Year-end tax forms and documents are mailed to members by the end of January, and are available online through Member Access on or before January 31. IRS 5498 Forms are mailed and made available to members by the end of May.

Below is a description of tax documents SECU provides to its applicable members.

 

IRS Form 1098
Mortgage Interest Statement
This form shows the interest you paid, as well as the property taxes and any private mortgage insurance (if applicable) paid by escrow, on your real estate-secured loans (including traditional mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit).
IRS Form 1099-A
Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property
This form shows the Credit Union has acquired from you an interest in real property (such as a personal residence) that served as security for a loan, or the Credit Union has reason to know you have abandoned the property.
IRS 1099-C
Cancellation of Debt
The Credit Union is required to send you this form if we have discharged (canceled or forgiven) a debt you owed of $600 or more, or if an “identifiable event” has occurred that either is or is deemed to be a discharge of the debt.

IRS 1099-INT
Interest Income

This form shows the following:

  • Amount of interest or dividends you earned from your deposit accounts and / or savings bonds (if $10 or greater)
  • Total interest / dividends earned for the year can be found on your December account statement, regardless of dollar amount
  • Any federal backup withholding you paid (federal income tax withheld)
  • Any penalties you paid due to early withdrawal of funds from a Share Term Certificate Account
IRS 1099-Q
Payments from Qualified Education Programs
This form shows distributions made from your Coverdell Education Savings Account.
IRS 5498-ESA
Coverdell ESA Contribution Information
This form shows distributions made from your Coverdell Education Savings Account.
IRS 1099-R
Distributions from Retirement Accounts
This form shows distributions from your retirement accounts (e.g., traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, Roth IRAs and beneficiary IRAs).
IRS 5498 IRA
Contribution Information
This form shows contributions made to your retirement accounts (e.g., traditional IRAs, SEP IRAS, Roth IRAs and beneficiary IRAs).
IRS 1099–SA
Distributions from Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)
This form shows distributions from your Health Savings Account.
IRS 5498-SA HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA InformationThis form shows contributions made to your Health Savings Account.
SECU Credit Card Annual Activity SummaryThe Credit Card Annual Activity Summary is prepared for SECU cardholders who made a minimum of 25 purchases with their credit card during the prior calendar year. It consists of an itemized list of all the transactions on the account, organized under categories such as restaurants, groceries, travel / lodging, merchandise / retail, and gas / automotive expenses. This money management tool can be helpful with budgeting household expenses and preparing tax returns.

For more information or questions about your tax documents, please contact your local branch or Member Services Support at (888) 732-8562.

 

Find a tax return preparation service

If you are interested in free tax preparation services, there may be several options available in your community or through self-preparation. Below is a list of free tax preparation services.
 

IRS Free File

If your income is $73,000 or less, you may have access to free tax preparation software through IRS Free File. Several do-it-yourself options are available to file your federal and, in most cases, state tax returns. You will be able to choose from several software providers to find a program that meets your needs. Visit the IRS Free File page to view the available options.

If your income is $73,000 or more and you are comfortable preparing your tax returns yourself, the IRS offers “Free File Fillable Forms” for federal returns only. These forms are available from late January to mid-October each year. For more information, you can visit the IRS Fillable Forms page.

IRS-Sponsored VITA & TCE Programs

The Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $64,000 or less, persons with disabilities and taxpayers with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. The IRS-certified volunteers provide tax counseling services through non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Locate the nearest VITA or TCE site by using the VITA / TCE Locator tool. Because many VITA and TCE sites are only open from January through April and the VITA / TCE locator tool provides real-time results, it is best to search this site during the tax season or when you are ready to have your tax return completed.

Most TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide program. During the tax season, you can also use the AARP Tax-Aide Locator tool to search for a free Tax-Aide site. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites are only open from late January / early February to April 15, so their locator tool is only functional during that time frame.

MilTax: tax services for the military

MilTax is a Department of Defense program that generally offers free return preparation and e-filing software for all military members, with no income limit.

If you do not qualify for any of these free services, consider preparing your own taxes.

Prepare your own taxes

For members who prefer to complete their own taxes, planning and filing resources exist to guide you through the steps of tax return preparation. 

SECU has negotiated with Intuit®1 to offer our members a discount2 of up to 20% on TurboTax® preparation software, depending on which product you select. Visit the TurboTax website to file your taxes today.

Tax refund information

If you are expecting a tax refund this year, the fastest way to receive your refund is to have the IRS send the money to your account via direct deposit.

It is critical that you provide the IRS with correct information as demonstrated below:

  • Routing number - You will need to provide the routing number for your direct deposit. SECU’s nine digit routing number is 253177049.
  • Account type and account number - You can select to have your money deposited into your Checking, Money Market, Share or IRA Account. When completing your tax return for a refund, it is important that the account type and account number you provide are correct.

Frequently asked questions about Tax Return Preparation

When filing your return, errors in the account number, account type, or routing number can result in your refund being deposited into someone else’s account. It can be difficult or impossible for the IRS or Department of Revenue to retrieve those funds as they will have processed the transaction as you instructed.

 

Whether completing your return yourself or using a tax preparer, you should always personally verify the accuracy of your deposit account information. Direct deposits that are rejected due to incorrect information are reissued by the IRS and Department of Revenue as paper checks if the IRS or Department of Revenue is able to retrieve the funds. Reissuances can take up to eight weeks to be processed. Paper checks will be mailed to the address listed on the tax return. If they are unable to retrieve the funds, you will not receive your refund.

Always double check the routing number, account type, and account number before filing your return or allowing a tax preparer to file it.

 

Never authorize the deposit of your tax refund into an account on which you are not listed as an owner. You cannot be given access to funds in an account that is not in your name, which can lead to delays and / or loss of funds if the owner of the account will not reimburse you or the funds are no longer available.