Shines a light on EITC, promotes free tax prep help for income eligible

With tax season right around the corner, PSE&G is encouraging New Jersey families to apply for the 2006 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a program aimed at helping people who don't earn a lot of money. The EITC is offered by both the state and federal government. It can reduce the amount of taxes owed by eligible workers and even provide a tax refund. Getting the word out about EITC is important because it will help keep money in the pockets of state residents who need it most.

The fact is that many who qualify for the EITC are unaware of it or confused as to how to apply for it. New parents, foster parents and grandparents raising grandchildren often don't realize that they qualify. Some families, such as those raising children with disabilities and those in the military don't know that special rules may make them eligible.

As a result, the State of New Jersey has launched a public awareness campaign to promote the tax benefit aimed at ensuring that the state's eligible residents take advantage of the program. The New Jersey Department of Human Services, PSE&G, the Association for Children of New Jersey and the Internal Revenue Service are working together to get the word out.

PSE&G has funded the printing of over 125,000 flyers and distributed campaign materials to more than 100 state and local agencies and organizations throughout New Jersey. In addition, each of PSE&G's 16 Customer Service Centers (locations are listed inside customer bills) has a list of the free tax preparation sites. These sites offer help to low and moderate-income people (generally earning less than $39,000) who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

"If we increase the number of New Jersey families benefiting from the EITC by just 10%, our efforts will have paid off," said Eileen Leahey, PSE&G's manager of payment assistance outreach.

In 2005, over 470,625 families and individuals in New Jersey received more than $849 million in federal EITC benefits. Approximately 201,790 of those that received the federal EITC also received $112 million in state EITC benefits. The average federal credit was $1,804 and the average state credit amounted to $557.

Depending on their income, individuals who worked in 2006 may qualify for the credit, regardless of whether or not they are married or have children. For more information on the Federal EITC, call 1-800-829-1040 or visit For more about the State EITC, call 1-888-895-9179 or visit

Want to know where to go for free tax preparation? Visit a PSE&G's Customer Service Center or call 211, New Jersey's non-emergency helpline. Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three- quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne National Achievement Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (

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