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Tax Help Available for Wisconsin Seniors

PHOTO: Once again this year, the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is up and running in Wisconsin, offering no-cost tax return preparation. Tax-Aide has served more than 40 million people since it was started 40 years ago. Photo credit: midlibrary.org
PHOTO: Once again this year, the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is up and running in Wisconsin, offering no-cost tax return preparation. Tax-Aide has served more than 40 million people since it was started 40 years ago. Photo credit: midlibrary.org
January 26, 2015

MADISON, Wis. – Few if any taxpayers enjoy filling out income tax forms every year, and often senior citizens discover that proper preparation of their tax returns can be a real challenge.

Mariann Muzzi, assistant state director of community outreach with AARP Wisconsin, says that's why there's AARP Tax-Aide, a program tailored to the needs of retired people and senior citizens – although she says there are no age come restrictions for using the service.

"Four out of five of the people who turn to AARP Tax-Aide are people 60 or older,” she relates. “Their household incomes aren't real high, and for many of them, a tax refund could mean they won't have to choose between paying for groceries or keeping the lights on."

Muzzi stresses it's easy to get assistance from the AARP Tax-Aide program.

"There's a toll-free number, 888-227-7669, where an individual will answer your call and ask you to provide your ZIP code, and will be able to direct you to Tax-Aide service sites in your area," she says.

People can also find the nearest location online at AARP.org/taxaide, along with tips on preparing for an appointment and bringing the appropriate documents.

According to Muzzi, AARP Tax-Aide provided no-cost income-tax filing assistance to about 67,000 Wisconsinites last year.

Muzzi points out that as people age, their tax returns can become more complex. Rather than drawing a paycheck from one company, retirees often have several income sources – from pensions, investments, retirement plans and Social Security.

"And all of these different sources of income interact and have implications for our taxes,” she explains. “And that's why AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are really well-qualified to take a look at all of those different considerations and help people get the best possible return."

She adds the AARP Tax-Aide volunteers get their training from AARP and the IRS, so they are up-to-date on the latest changes in both federal and state tax laws.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI