Chamber hosts tax credit seminar

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By Nyla Smith


LAPLACE – The River Region Chamber of Commerce hosted an Earned Income Tax Credit seminar recently for its members and businesses interested in joining the organization. The event encouraged employers to inform their employees who earn $49,000 or less about the credit and some of its benefits.

Executive Director Chassity McComack said the Chamber held the event to bring awareness to their members.

“We’re speaking to businesses about the benefits of Earned Income Tax Credit for their employees,” said McComack. 

The presenter, Senior Tax Consultant Diane Denton with the Internal Revenue Service, provided a brief history about the credit and the criteria for eligibility. She also explained how the IRS helps low-to-moderate income preparers complete their yearly taxes free of charge through a program called VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

“These programs provide free electronic filing and direct deposit, which distributes refunds within 7-10 business days,” said Denton

Jenna Schexnaydre of Hamada Orthodontics in Destrehan was present for the session.

“I’m here to see how the tax credit will benefit the employees of Dr. Hamada’s dental practice,” said Schexnaydre.

Denton also informed the group about the three eligibility requirements for claiming the credit with a qualifying child. The child must be related to the applicant by birth, adoption, as a foster child or a brother/half-brother, sister/half-sister, niece or nephew.

He or she must also be under age 19 at the end of the tax year, or a full-time student under age 24 before December of the filing year. 

Finally, the qualifying child is also required to have lived with the applicant for more than half of the filing year.

An applicant who provided care for a permanently and totally disabled individual at anytime during the year, regardless of age, is also eligible.

A VITA site is temporarily located in the Department of Health and Human Services at 975 Cambridge Drive in LaPlace.