Local advocates and volunteers help residents claim Earned Incom - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Local advocates and volunteers help residents claim Earned Income Tax Credit

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On Super Tax Day, Feb. 6, in Jackson at local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, Entergy Mississippi will sponsor free tax preparation for working families.

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

EITC benefits families or individuals earning up to nearly $54,000 in 2015. Based on income and the number of children in the household, benefits can amount up to $6,200. The IRS reports that 20 percent of EITC funds are unclaimed each year simply because people don't know they are available.

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.  

In Mississippi more than 10,200 residents have received nearly $22.9 million since Entergy Mississippi launched the program by partnering with local advocates.

EITC is one of the nation's most effective anti-poverty programs, lifting an estimated nine million people out of poverty in 2013, including five million children. New research suggests that income from tax credits benefits children over their lifetimes.

The EITC is now linked with more prenatal care, less maternal stress and better infant health, as well as improved test scores and higher high-school graduation and college attendance rates.

Entergy's Super Tax Day initiative has resulted in an estimated $189 million in economic benefits to the communities served by Entergy, based on an economic multiplier of 1.5 determined by the Brookings Institution. This impact has earned the company recognition by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for the nation's best economic empowerment program.

"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."

Residents can also file using the website MyFreeTaxes.com. Learn more about Entergy's support to Super Tax Days at entergy.com/eitc.

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