Entergy, IRS work together to promote awareness of VITA centers, EITC
Beaumont, Texas – It’s a new year and
no doubt many Texans began it by resolving to handle their money a little
This year, Entergy Texas, Inc. is
once again working with the Internal Revenue Service to help put money in
lower-earning Texans’ pockets and, therefore, additional dollars into the
The company is sponsoring Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance sites throughout its 27-county service area to provide
free tax preparation help to those who qualify and to promote the Earned Income
Tax Credit. Texans who earn under $45,000 may qualify for EITC and receive free
tax preparation assistance at local VITA sites. To find the assistance site
nearest you, you may call the IRS hotline number for VITA sites at 800-906-9887.
Your local Entergy customer service manager also has a listing of sites Entergy
is helping to sponsor in Southeast Texas.
“In Texas, 17 percent of the
population qualifies as low-income,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service
director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “EITC helps them and, in turn, it helps our state
by pumping more money into the economy.
“Studies have shown that the EITC
helps reduce poverty,” Pierce explained. “Some families use EITC payments for
significant purchases, such as a home or to pay off debts. Others use the credit
to start saving for the future.”
Entergy Texas’ efforts bolster the
IRS campaign to educate taxpayers about the EITC and requirements to claim the
credit. Along with sponsoring the VITA sites, the company is mailing bill
inserts about EITC to customers who receive paper bills, placing outbound calls
to select customers and including messages about the credit on My Account Online
and on paper bills.
“Working families may receive up to
$5,751 if they qualify,” Pierce said. “That can make a huge difference in a
family’s life and a big impact on the state’s economy.”
In the 2010 tax filing season, 2.57
million Texas residents filed EITC claims, receiving a total of $6.48 billion.
Claims averaged $2,522 each.
“We believe that number could easily
increase if more people were aware of the program,” Pierce said. “This in turn
would reduce demand for public service and benefit programs, and strengthen our
The EITC is a federal income tax
credit for low-income workers who are eligible for and claim the credit.
Taxpayers who qualify for and claim the credit can reduce the amount of tax they
owe, pay no tax or get a refund. The IRS estimates that nationally 79 percent of
all eligible taxpayers receive the EITC—meaning approximately 21 percent do not
claim the credit they deserve.
For a complete list of EITC
requirements, interested applicants should review publication 596, which is
available by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX FORM (1-800-829-3676) or by visiting
the IRS website at irs.gov/eitc.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides
electricity to more than 400,000 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, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the
United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.