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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

WA Tax Program Puts Out Call for Volunteers as Year Ends

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Monday, November 28, 2022   

It may seem early, but programs across the country are preparing to help people with their 2022 income tax returns.

In Washington state, United Way of King County is calling for volunteers for its free tax-preparation program.

Ryan McFerran, program manager of tax credits and financial stability for the organization, said they rely on hundreds of volunteers each year. He pointed out there are a couple of different volunteer roles, including tax preparers who get to serve people directly.

"In most cases they get to tell those people that they're going to be receiving some money, in the form of a tax refund and other financial assistance," McFerran observed. "Which is typically pretty rewarding for volunteers."

McFerran pointed out the program will be offered on-site and virtually. He emphasized people do not need tax-prep experience to volunteer. There will be five training opportunities, with the first happening this weekend, and the last in mid-January. The program also is looking for community intake specialists who will assist at tax sites.

McFerran noted when they file their income taxes, low and middle-income families are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which he sees as one of the federal government's most vital anti-poverty programs.

"Taxes are actually a really great way to access the cash that they may need in order to cover their basic expenses, put a little bit more food on the table," McFerran outlined. "Maybe they have an overdue utility bill that they need to pay."

He also explained the Working Families Tax Credit will be widely available to families in Washington state, including those who are undocumented. He added people looking to apply for the credit should visit a tax-preparation site.

Disclosure: The United Way of King County contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Education, Housing/Homelessness, and Human Rights/Racial Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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