With tax season in full swing, Consumers Energy is encouraging eligible Michigan residents to claim thousands of dollars in assistance by filing for the Michigan Home Heating Credit and federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
"We want the people we serve to know that help is available now. You shouldn't wait to fall behind," said Chad Miller, Consumers Energy's manager of energy assistance programs. "This is an ideal time to file for Michigan's Home Heating Credit and the federal Earned Income Tax Credit since free tax preparation services are available statewide by dialing 2-1-1."
Consumers Energy, its charitable foundation and Michigan nonprofit organizations have worked to provide access to assistance for heating bills this winter. The Consumers Energy Foundation is also a strong supporter of free tax preparation services through Michigan 2-1-1 and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. Learn more at www.michiganfreetaxhelp.org.
The average Home Heating Credit that Consumers Energy customers received in 2015 was nearly $150. The credit:
- Is the only heating assistance that does not require applicants to fall behind on paying their energy bill.
- Can be used for all types of primary heating fuels, including natural gas, electricity, propane and other deliverable fuels such as oil and purchased firewood.
- Bases credit amounts on household income and size.
- Is available to households whose income does not require them to file traditional income taxes.
- May be available to renters who pay their own heating bills.
- Can be submitted beyond tax season since it has a Sept 30, 2017, filing deadline.
Customers can find their 2016 total heat cost on December, January and February Consumers Energy billing statements. This information is required to complete the form. It is also available by calling Consumers Energy toll-free at 800-477-5050.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is another benefit for working people with low to moderate income. For income guidelines, contact your employers, call the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-3676, or visit www.irs.gov.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.