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MADISON, Wis. - For a lot of people, filling out the annual income tax return is a chore they don't look forward to. Tax laws are always changing and knowing how to take advantage of the rules can mean a lot more money in your pocket.
Now in its 50th year, the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program will provide free tax form assistance and preparation to Wisconsinites, and it isn't necessary to be an AARP member or over 50.
Mariann Muzzi, associate state director for community outreach for AARP-Wisconsin, says IRS-trained volunteers run the program. Last year's numbers show the Tax-Aide program is popular in the Badger State. "Nearly a thousand volunteers served at 120 locations in communities large and small across the state of Wisconsin - 47,000 Wisconsinites were helped," Muzzi relates. She says people recovered more than $31 million in federal tax refunds alone. Find the Tax-Aide sites online at aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp or by calling 888-227-7669.
According to Muzzi, most Tax-Aide locations ask that you make an appointment. "However, there are some that may accept walk-ins," she states. "The best is to go to the AARP Tax-Aide site locator tool online, or call and find out what the requirements of the site that you would like to go to may be." In many communities, the sites are in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers, senior centers and other easily accessible locations. Keeping up with the constant changes in tax law can be challenging, but Muzzi says the Tax-Aide volunteers are fully qualified. "They are trained and certified with the IRS each year to ensure that they know about and understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code," she stresses.
Nationwide last year, Tax-Aide volunteers helped 2.5 million people navigate the complicated tax system, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their federal and state tax returns.