Check heating credit eligibility

Tax credits are not just for tax season, the state advises.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan to encourage qualified Michigan residents to apply for the Home Heating Credit before the Sept. 30 deadline — only 18 days away.

Over the past five years, the average qualifying household received $209 in assistance, which is most often applied directly to residents’ utility bills — as is an additional automatic credit from some energy providers worth up to $20 monthly, according to the MDHHS. Additionally, state food assistance recipients receiving a Home Heating Credit of more than $20 may be eligible for increased benefits, the state advised in a news release.

“The September 30 deadline is around the corner, so please don’t wait to claim the Home Heating Credit,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “This credit will help provide financial relief to families as we head into the fall and winter, leaving more money available for other critical needs.”

To qualify, residents must be a renter with a contracted lease or a homeowner, plus meet income requirements. The best way to apply for the Home Heating Credit — and a number of other tax credits available to Michigan residents — is through one of the state’s trusted, free tax preparation services, the MDHHS advised.

Free tax preparation is a community service designed to help Michigan residents improve their financial well-being. Residents who qualify include those with disabilities, those with limited English-speaking ability and those earning less than $60,000 annually. Tax preparation providers are trained and certified volunteers.

“The fall heating season is approaching quickly,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “The Home Heating Credit can help with heating bills, allowing individuals and families to spend their hard-earned dollars on other necessities. Local free tax preparation can help taxpayers navigate the paperwork to receive this very important credit. Please don’t hesitate to seek out assistance if you think you’re eligible.”

Residents can connect with their local free tax preparation site by calling 211 or going online to MichiganFreeTaxHelp.org. Local human services nonprofits such as United Way and Community Action Agency can also refer community members to a free tax preparation site.

“Everyone should file a tax return, even if they’re not required,” said Luke Forrest, CEDAM executive director. “This is money they’ve earned that should be going back into their pockets and their communities.”

— The Iron Mountain Daily News


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