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Monday, June 24, 2024

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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Overwhelmed with tax filing costs? WI service sites are back

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Thursday, February 8, 2024   

Many Wisconsinites have received their income documents for filing taxes.

A long-standing program geared toward low to moderate-income adults is back again this year to provide free in-person and virtual assistance in preparing returns. AARP has its Tax-Aide sites open around the state. The organization said 650 volunteers completed more than 23,000 returns for Wisconsin residents last year.

Darrin Wasniewski, tax aide liaison for AARP Wisconsin, said the program can help people with limited resources avoid overpaying or turning to tax prep services they cannot afford. He said the no-cost assistance might make a refund stretch a little further.

"Even a modest refund for somebody who's living on Social Security can go a long way to helping alleviate some of the financial stress that they might be under," Wasniewski explained.

The volunteers are trained and IRS-certified to ensure they are caught up on the latest changes to the tax code. Wasniewski noted the virtual help carried out by volunteers is pretty expansive.

"They've also been able to knock it down to one-visit scans, so that you can just come once, give your documents," Wasniewski pointed out. "Then complete everything electronically online after that, going right over to just providing online coaching."

As for in-person help, AARP's website lists 120 tax prep sites in Wisconsin this year. Most of them are senior and community centers, as well as public libraries. The organization said you do not have to be a member to receive the assistance.

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


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