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President Trump’s lawyer due in court today. Also on our rundown: HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposes raising the rent on low-income families; plus we will look at efforts to address addiction in Ohio: what’s working, and what’s not.

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Free Tax Help Available in Oregon

Nationwide, the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program helped 2.5 million people file their income-tax returns last year. (Ken Teegardin/Flickr)
Nationwide, the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program helped 2.5 million people file their income-tax returns last year. (Ken Teegardin/Flickr)
February 2, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is in its 50th year of providing free tax services to people across the country. Last year, nearly 1,200 volunteers helped 73,000 Oregonians file their state and federal income tax returns, and they received nearly $52 million in refunds.

Bob Bruce, state coordinator for the AARP Tax-Aide program, says volunteers add a personal touch to filing tax returns and can save filers money.

"In addition to doing the calculations,” he says, “we often give them insights about their own tax return and finances and help them to understand some of the ways in which they can claim credits to which they didn't even know existed."

Nationwide, the program helped 2.5 million Americans file their taxes last year. It's open to everyone, not just seniors, and aims especially to help low- and middle-income folks.

The program is now open at locations across the state, including libraries, schools, senior centers and more.

Bruce says the earned income tax credit is a perfect example of a credit tax filers may have not know they're eligible for. Last year, Oregonians saved more than $13.7 million through the earned income tax credit with the help of Tax-Aide volunteers.

"Obviously, they're delighted that it means more money that goes back into the family budget to help support things like food and groceries and house payments as well," says Bruce.

Bruce says the program also offers translation services. He's excited about the 50th anniversary, but adds that it could be challenging because people are likely to have questions about how their returns for 2018 will change under the tax law.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR