Charlotte J. Cavell
Local advocates and volunteers help residents claim Earned Income Tax Credit
NEW ORLEANS -- Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is sponsoring free tax preparation provided by local volunteers and community advocates for working families Feb. 13 as part of New Orleans' Super Tax Day. Volunteers at local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, who are 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 due.
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 of this important effort around its four-state area of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas has resulted in approximately 74,000 customers receiving $126 million through the EITC program since 2011. Here in the Crescent City, more than 10,100 residents have received $19,100,000 since Entergy New Orleans 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 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 them and the local community," said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. "The Super Tax Day events are one of the many ways we power life here in our city."
Local events will be held at the following locations and times:
· Delgado Community College -- 615 City Park Ave. (Bldg. 22) -- 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
· Dillard University Resource Center -- 3301 Annette St. -- 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
· Total Community Action -- 1410 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy. -- 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
· Puentes LatiNOLA -- 4205 Canal St. -- 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
· Xavier University -- 909 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy. (South Bldg., Rm. 211) -- 9 a.m.-noon
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana's Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 194,000 customers and natural gas to some 105,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation 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. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.