Local advocates and volunteers help residents claim Earned Income Tax Credit

Published 10:05 am Friday, January 29, 2016

BEAUMONT, Texas –Super Tax Day in Southeast Texas, a day in which Entergy Texas, Inc. will sponsor free tax preparation by trained volunteers, is set for 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Beaumont at the Gloria Ramirez Neighborhood Resource Center at 2850 Gulf Street. Lamar University is Entergy Texas’ partner in the event.

The day kicks off efforts by local volunteers and community advocates to help working families, many of whom qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit program that provides refunds and credits that can make a difference.

Throughout the tax preparation season local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, will be staffed with volunteers certified by the Internal Revenue Service who are ready to help local residents determine if they qualify for EITC.

EITC benefits families or individuals earning up to $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 Texas more than 4,100 residents have received $5,100,000 since Entergy Texas launched the program by partnering with local advocates.

EITC is regarded as 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 as 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 Vernon Pierce, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas, Inc.“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.

Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 430,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.