As January ends and February begins, American taxpayers should be close to receiving all of the needed materials, such as W-2 forms to 1099s and other information to fill out their income taxes ahead of the April 15 deadline.
Several opportunities are available for eligible people to get needed assistance beyond their accountant, tax preparer or if they do it themselves with computer software or other means.
One of those opportunities will take place Saturday in Hernando, as Entergy Mississippi customers will receive free tax preparation and have the chance to win money at Entergy’s Super Tax Day program held during the month of February.
Qualified Entergy Mississippi customers can get their taxes prepared for free and have the chance to win money at Entergy’s Super Tax Day. IRS-certified volunteers from Entergy and United Way of the Mid-South will also help determine if the taxpayers are eligible to claim federal Earned Income Tax Credits.
Super Tax Day takes place at Oak Hill Baptist Church, 1775 Memphis Street in Hernando on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. For qualifications and a list of what to bring, visit entergy.com/freetaxhelp.
Customers who agree to save part of their total refund at the Super Tax Day event will have an opportunity to win up to $50 in cash through a scratch-off card promotion. They can also enter other drawings, including one for a $10,000 grand prize from the national Save Your Refund program.
Volunteers will also offer residents free tax prep help and determine if they are eligible to claim federal Earned Income Tax Credits at numerous local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites throughout the tax season.
EITC is one of the nation’s more effective means of lifting needy Americans out of poverty. In Mississippi, Entergy has helped approximately 25,750 customers receive more than $56 million through the EITC program since 2011, according to information provided by Entergy.
“Services provided through Super Tax Day and the VITA program help power lives for customers who can gain long-term benefits by claiming EITC,” said George Cossar, Entergy customer service representative in Hernando. “When customers’ lives improve, their communities benefit.”
At some VITA sites, local community partners offer appointments for tax preparation services, as well as drop-off tax prep services, financial coaching, budget workshops, and free legal services.
Another free tax preparation service provided through AARP is called Tax-Aide. It will continue its service at First Regional Libraries in Southaven and Olive Branch in the coming month.
An IRS-certified staff is at the libraries from 2-6 p.m. each Monday, starting Feb. 4. Appointments are taken at the respective customer service desk.
The Tax-Aide program focuses on low-to-middle income tax filers with emphasis on those age 60 and older. However, membership in AARP is not required to take part in the program and there are no age requirements.
Materials to bring include a photo ID, the Social Security cards for all persons listed on the return, a copy of your tax return from last year and all documents that you received that include income.
Those documents include all 1099 R’s, W-2’s 1099 SSA’s, Railroad Retirement statements, interest and/or dividend income statements and reports of stock sales (these must include the price you originally paid for the stock as well as the price you sold it for). Also, due to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act you will need to bring any documents you may have that confirms that you and all of the individuals in your household have required medical insurance.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.