Credit unions pay payroll, property and sales taxes as well as various licensing fees. By law, they are exempt from paying income tax because all monies earned after operating expenses and setting aside statutory reserves are returned to members. As not-for-profit institutions, they return excess earnings to members rather than an outside group of stockholders in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and lower or no fees. Big or small, every credit union shares this not-for-profit structure and service-oriented philosophy of not-for-profit, not for charity, but for service.