via Moak: Entergy sponsoring free tax help on Feb. 6, clarionledger.com, 1/27/2016
It’s tax season, and for many of us, filing our taxes has never been more difficult. Tax laws are only getting more complex, and with the addition of the Affordable Care Act and other recent changes, many consumers are bewildered.
But there is reason to hope. There are many agencies and organizations who can help negotiate the maze of tax laws and help us file our returns and provide answers. On Feb. 6, residents can take advantage of Super Tax Day, sponsored by Entergy Mississippi and local United Way organizations. Volunteers certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will help local residents file their taxes free of charge, and help determine if they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program and other refunds and credits.
Current Super Tax Day sites in Mississippi include the Jackson Medical Mall and the M.R. Dye Library in Horn Lake. Both sites will be active from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; more sites may be added later.
According to the IRS, EITC benefits families or individuals earning up to nearly $54,000 in 2015, and can benefit a family up to $6,200 (based upon the number of children in the household). “The IRS reports that 20 percent of EITC funds are unclaimed each year simply because people don’t know they are available,” noted Entergy’s Mara Hartmann in a news release.
“It’s clear from the numbers and the research that helping our customers apply for and receive these available tax credits makes a significant economic impact, both for the customer and the local community,” said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of customer service. “Entergy’s Super Tax Day events are one of the many ways we power life in our communities.”
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, EITC is one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs, helping lift millions out of poverty, leading to better school performance, improving infant and maternal health, and even leading to increased graduation and attendance rates.
“Entergy’s support to Super Tax Days and VITA in the four states its utilities serve — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — has resulted in approximately 74,000 customers receiving $126 million through the EITC program since 2011,” Hartmann noted. “In Mississippi more than 10,200 residents have received nearly $22.9 million since Entergy Mississippi launched the program by partnering with local advocates.”
Hartmann also noted the company-wide program has brought in $189 million in economic benefits in Entergy’s service area, once you factor in “multiplier effects” to local communities.
To learn more about the program, visit entergy.com/eitc.