Entergy sponsoring tax help Feb. 6

Staff Writer

Entergy Mississippi will offer free tax preparation for working families Feb. 6.

"Entergy's Super Tax Day events are one of the many ways we power life in our communities," said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of customer service in the news release.

Volunteers certified by the IRS will help local residents determine if they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit program plus other refunds and credits.

Locations include the United Way, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Drive in Jackson and the United Way of the Mid-South, 2885 Goodman Road in Horn Lake.

Both sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Feb. 6.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children, according to the IRS.

Income requirements state individuals interested in the credit must have an investment income of $3,400 or less for 2015. The credit benefits families or individuals earning up to nearly $54,000 in 2015. A complete list of income requirements is available at irs.gov.

To qualify, individuals must file a tax return, even if the individual does not owe any tax or are not required to file. Qualified individuals must have a Social Security number that is valid for employment. Filling statuses include: married, head of household, qualifying widower and single.

Those seeking the refund cannot claim EITC if the filling status is married filling separately.

Based on income and the number of children in the household, benefits could reach $6,200, according to an EITC study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The IRS reported 20 percent of EITC funds go unclaimed each year because people are unaware of the program.

Entergy has supported the tax credit help since 2011 in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Since then, approximately 74,000 customers received $126 million through EITC, according to an Entergy Mississippi news release.

In Mississippi, more than 10,000 residents have received $22.9 million since Entergy Mississippi launched the program by partnering with local volunteers and advocate groups, the release said.

EITC is one of the nation's most effective anti-poverty programs, brining around 9 million people out of poverty, including 5 million children, according to the CBPP study. The research suggests income tax credits benefits children over their lifetimes and is now linked with more prenatal care, less maternal stress and better infant health.

Through its help with the credit, Entergy was recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for the nation's best economic empowerment program.