Pearl City Branch Opening

On Monday, April 25th, Hawaiian Tel FCU welcomed the newest addition to our ever-growing ohana: the Pearl City Branch!  Our newest branch is nestled inside the Pearl City WalMart, and is our fifth in-store Walmart location!

The morning started off with a special blessing from Pastor John from New Hope Chapel Iwilei.  There to witness the blessing were the branch staff, HiTel FCU president Norman Okimoto, HiTel FCU’s marketing team, and a line of HiTel members eager to be the first customers.  Even Yoko and Kalea were there to celebrate the branch’s opening.

IMG_3636Check out more of our photos from Pearl City Branch’s opening here.

Don’t forget to join us for our Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, May 28th, from 10am to 2pm.  Stop by for a fun-filled day of games and prizes!  Enter your name into our drawing for a chance to win  a drone, a FitBit Blaze, or other awesome prizes.  You can also play our slot machine for a chance to win an Infiniti Q50.  Hope to see you there!

Act Quickly If You Miss the April Tax Filing Deadline

taxdeadline2016Although it might be hard to believe, the consequences of missing the April income tax filing deadline can be even more frustrating than completing the return in the first place.

You can get an automatic six-month extension of the time to file just by asking, but if you owe taxes, you have to send in the estimated amount by the original filing deadline – this year, that’s Monday, April 18 – or you can expect to be hit with penalties. Here are some tips on how to minimize the impact on your wallet.

Late-filing and late-payment penalties

Once the IRS receives your late return, it will calculate your failure-to-file penalty. This penalty applies only if you still owe money. It usually amounts to 5% of your unpaid tax for every month your return was overdue, with a maximum penalty of 25%. You’ll have to pay a second fine if your return is more than 60 days late, which will be “the lesser of $135 or 100 percent of the tax owed unless you had reasonable cause and acted in good faith,” according to the IRS.

If you don’t pay everything you owe on time, you’ll also face a somewhat less harsh late-payment penalty, usually 0.5% of the unpaid tax per month. But this can be waived for up to six months if you paid at least 90% of what you owed by April 18 and get an extension.

Since the late-filing penalty is typically the steeper of the two, try to file your return as soon as possible while paying as much as you can, even if that amount doesn’t cover your entire tax bill. Adjust your budget accordingly to ensure that you can pay the remaining balance as rapidly as possible.

What if I’m owed a refund?

Here’s some good news: If Uncle Sam owes you a refund and you missed the filing deadline, you have up to three years to claim that money. After those three years are up, your refund will be handed over to the U.S. Treasury.

Receiving a refund means you overpaid on taxes throughout the year and essentially gave the government an interest-free loan. Not filing your return by the deadline just prolongs the time it takes to receive your refund, and the government gets to continue to use your money interest-free.

Don’t miss out on credits and deductions

It can be easy to overlook tax credits and deductions as you race to submit a return. These breaks can reduce your tax liability or increase your refund by hundreds or thousands of dollars and therefore shouldn’t be ignored. Even if you file late, you can still claim these benefits, so don’t miss out.

Getting an extension next time

To avoid penalties for missing the April 18 deadline, apply for an automatic extension as soon as you think you may need one by completing Form 4868, which you can do by phone, online or through the mail. This will give you an additional six months to complete your tax return without getting penalized. You can ask for more time at any point after Jan. 1 up to the filing deadline, but not afterward. So don’t delay if you need an extension.

The bottom line

Although failing to file your taxes on time isn’t a tragedy, it can end up costing you quite a bit if you don’t make amends quickly. Fork over whatever amount you can as soon after as possible to avoid racking up additional fees and interest. And don’t forget to take potentially helpful tax credits and deductions, even if you’re late getting to the table.

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79th Annual Meeting & Dinner

On Saturday, April 2nd, we held our 79th Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballrooms.

The evening kicked off at 5:00pm with the Annual Meeting.  HiTel members filled the meeting room to the brim as Chairman Glen Moribe and other board members shared of this past year’s financial success with the credit union.  President Norman Okimoto proudly shared of Hawaiian Tel FCU’s top 10 ranking for healthiest credit unions in the nation.  Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union ranked 6th out of 6,000+ credit unions nationwide!  The board also discussed important information for the future, such as the April 25th opening of our next in-store branch in the Pearl City Wal-Mart.  Towards the end of the meeting, Glen was sent off with many thanks and aloha as his tenure as chairman came to a close.


Then came the moment all the members were waiting for – the door prizes!  This year’s prizes ranged from gift cards, electronics, a 55″ LED TV, overnight stays at local hotels, and the grand finale – a trip for two to Las Vegas!  Augie T was there to announce the winners and their prizes, all while entertaining the crowd with jokes.


The meeting lasted about an hour, and as soon as it was over, everyone headed to the next ballroom for the dinner portion of the night. We were served a 7-course Chinese dinner that included crab meat and tofu mushroom soup, curry shrimp and fried haupia, asparagus beef, crispy duck with plum sauce and Chinese bun, steamed bass, and crispy chicken with pineapple sauce.  For dessert: chilled almond tofu delight.  Everything was super ono!

The entertainment for the night started with Mailani Makainai, who performed numerous  songs and was accompanied by Kaui Dalire performing hula.  Afterwards, John and Ernie Cruz Jr with their band set up to entertain the crowd with both brothers’ numerous hits and crowd favorites.  The evening ended with Mystical Sounds starting the dancing portion with the Electric Slide. Thanks to these performers and their beautiful voices and talents, the room was definitely ‘electric’ and feeling a lot of ‘island style’.

The 79th Annual Meeting and Dinner was an overall huge success.  There were great prizes, great food, and great entertainment.  A big MAHALO to everyone who came to join us!  We hope you all had a wonderful night, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Check out all of our Annual Dinner photos here!

UCPA’s 29th Annual Rubber Duckie Race

DSC_0586.JPGOn Saturday, March 26th, our employees headed over to the McCully Shopping Center, like we do every year, to help with the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii’s Annual Rubber Duckie Race.  This year would mark the 29th race.  We set up a booth in the shopping center parking lot from 9am to noon with our famous Spin-the-Wheel game and fun prizes.

Other pre-race festivities included the Duckie store, where you could purchase all sorts of rubber duckies and duckie paraphernalia, a tent for last minute rubber duckie adoptions, hula performances by different youth groups, and even an appearance by Ben and Maila! As the pre-race festivities took place in the shopping center parking lot, the rest of us took to the streets to wave signs and ask for donations for UCPA.  The aloha spirit was alive and well as many people stopped to donate, adopt a duck, and show support for a great cause.

At approximately 1:01pm, about 20,000 duckies were released into the Ala Wai Canal, and 51 lucky people won great prizes, varying from flat screen TVs, rounds of golf, Wet ‘N Wild passes, and even an iPad Mini.

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big mahalo to everyone who came out to volunteer, donate, and show support to the UCPA of Hawaii.

Click here to check out more photos from the 29th Annual Rubber Duckie Race.

Dream Adventures

I recently came across an article about Expedia’s latest campaign with St.  Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and it is awesome!

The campaign is called “St. Jude Dream Adventures” and took over a year to put together.  Expedia worked with St. Jude’s to find children in the hospital who had dreams of traveling, but due to their illness, would not be able to.  Four children were picked and paired with an Expedia employee.

Expedia then had a temporary installation set up in a room in the hospital that allowed the children to experience their very own “dream adventure” in a 360º view, as if they were really there!  The Expedia employees were sent out to those dream places with a special camera that streamed live to the room so that the children could talk directly with the Expedia employee and ask questions.

From running with wild horses in the Argentinian Plain, digging for fossils in the desert, to even scuba diving in the pristine waters of Mexico, Expedia is doing a wonderful job bringing the outside world to the children of St. Jude’s.

Check out the full article here, complete with videos featuring each child, or visit Expedia’s YouTube channel for a complete list of their videos and other campaigns.