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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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President Biden Tests Positive for Covid; Report: SD ethanol plants release hazardous air pollutants; Report: CA giant sequoia groves in peril after megafires.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

IRS's free tax filing tool can save Washingtonians time, money

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024   

Washingtonians have an option this year to file their taxes for free and a new report said it is saving people time and money.

The Internal Revenue Service has created a pilot program in 12 states for a new tool, called IRS Direct File. A report from the Economic Security Project found the tool should save people an average of $160 to file their taxes by 2029.

Abigail Leong, communications lead for the Working Families Tax Credit Coalition, said tax preparation companies have been exploiting people for profit.

"Filing your taxes should be free and easy, right?" Leong asserted. "You're paying to fund your schools and your roads and everything that people use as a community. You shouldn't have to pay so much cash in order to just get your taxes done."

The report predicted the tool will eventually save Americans $11 billion annually in filing fees. It also noted people spend an average of nine hours filing their income tax forms.

Adam Ruben, vice president of campaigns and political strategy for the nonprofit advocacy organization the Economic Security Project, said filers can go to Directfile.IRS.gov for a simplified process.

"It's an interview-based questionnaire," Ruben explained. "It's something that people can use on their phones, on their computers -- available in English and Spanish -- that asks people questions in pretty much plain language, and you fill in the answers. And it fills in the tax form for you."

Leong noted the free process will also help more people receive tax credits, such as the Working Families Tax Credit, which provides up to $1,200 to Washington families.

"Only 44% of people eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit applied and got their money that they're eligible for last year," Leong pointed out. "We're hoping that everyone is able to hear about those credits and take advantage of them."


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