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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

During tax time crunch, multilingual sites in MN pitch in

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Friday, April 5, 2024   

Minnesotans who haven't completed their tax returns yet might be fretting about meeting the April 15th deadline. For those facing language barriers or other resource issues, the concern is even greater, but help is available. In the Twin Cities and around Minnesota, there are free tax preparation sites staffed with multi-lingual volunteers, including those who speak Spanish. And the organization COPAL provides plenty of tax guidance to Latino populations in the communities it serves.

Claudia Lainez, Workers' Center director of the Communities Organizing Latino Power and Action said that includes assisting undocumented individuals as they get ready to file their returns. Despite certain myths, she said they are required to pay taxes like everyone else.

"And they pay a lot more taxes because, sometimes, they are not eligible for credits," she explained.

A key change this year is that these households are eligible for Minnesota's new Child Tax Credit. Undocumented people file their returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or I-TIN. COPAL and partner organizations can help secure this tool. On its website, the state Department of Revenue lists free preparation sites that help those who speak little or no English.

Some of these locations are by appointment only or have limited hours. Meanwhile, Lainez said part of their education is explaining to immigrants who are new to the state the importance of paying taxes.

"We have to provide information that taxes are good for the infrastructure of the city where you live in - for schools, for example, " she continued.

With less than two weeks before the tax filing deadline, she says there's also guidance for information seekers on how to get an extension. Certain sites in the state also help Hmong, Somali and Vietnamese populations.

Disclosure: COPAL MN contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Environmental Justice, Immigrant Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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