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Categorized | Tax Time

Get help with heating costs

Qualifying state residents can get help with heating costs; information provided with Consumers Energy February bills

Jackson, Mich., February 2, 2010 – As Michigan shivers through an arctic blast, Consumers Energy is alerting qualifying residents that state and federal programs are available to help pay heating bills.

“Qualifying Michigan residents can get help paying their heating bills through a Michigan Home Heating Credit and a federal Earned Income Credit,” said Debra Harmon, Consumers Energy’s customer assistance coordinator.

Information on how to apply for both credits is being provided with bills that Consumers Energy customeres receive in February. Information is also available at Consumers Energy’s “Energy Answers” section on its website: www.consumersenergy.com/energyanswers.

“There is money available in the Michigan Home Heating Credit program that may assist low-income residents with their energy bills. Unfortunately, many of those eligible do not take advantage of this program.” said Harmon. Eligible applications can get up to $200 or more for their winter energy bills through the Home Heating Credit program. You do not need to file a state tax return to apply for this credit.

Home Heating Credit forms (MI-1040CR-7) are available at the following locations, most public libraries, Secretary of State branch offices, Department of Human Services branch offices, or by calling Consumer’s Energy’s toll-free number (800) 477-5050. Forms are also available from the Michigan Department of Treasury by calling (800) 827-4000, or at: www.michigan.gov/taxes.

Last year more than 450,000 Michigan residents received over $103 million in aid through the Home Credit program, which is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The Home Heating Credit can be applied to all heating costs, including propane and purchased firewood. The deadline to file is Sept. 30, 2010, but residents are encouraged to file now for the credit.

The federal Earned Income Credit is a refundable federal income tax credit available to qualifying low-income workers. For income guidelines, contact your employer, call the IRS at (800) 829-3676 or visit www.irs.gov.

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