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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.

Tax filing fears? Free assistance available in ID

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Thursday, February 1, 2024   

People feeling stressed out about tax season have an option for free assistance in Idaho.

The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is setting up sites across the state starting today. It is open to everyone regardless of age or income level but geared toward people with low to moderate incomes.

Karen Cummings, Tax-Aide state coordinator for AARP Idaho, said taxes can be complicated.

"We want to make it simple and we want to make it free and want to give them good communication on how to better manage their documents," Cummings explained. "And hopefully make them a little smarter on how they're paying their taxes."

Cummings pointed out in 2023, the program assisted with more than 12,000 returns in the state and helped Idahoans get $10 million in refunds.

She noted the volunteer assistants in the program trained throughout December and January to ensure they could properly help people with their taxes.

"We have to pass IRS certification tests," Cummings emphasized. "We are IRS certified to do the returns that are within our scope, and the volunteers are tremendous. They work and they put in so many hours through the season so we can provide this service."

Cummings added the program is able to assist in most cases, although not all. Complex tax returns involving small businesses with employees or rental income typically fall outside the scope of the volunteer preparers' training.

Disclosure: AARP Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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