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Free tax help arrives in Superior

Online and in-person options are available.

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Jim Haasis, a volunteer tax preparer with the Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency’s Tax Assistance Program, looks over tax forms at the agency office in Superior in 2015.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — Tax season is here, and a number of free options are available to Douglas County residents.

AARP Tax Aide will offer free tax preparation by appointment this year at Superior Public Library. Advance registration is required. Sign-ups for appointments will be held at the library on four days: Jan 23 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Jan. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Jan. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. and Feb. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There are no age or income restrictions.

Taxes will be prepared by appointment on Mondays and Thursdays, Feb. 6 through April 6, from noon to 4 p.m., free while participants wait. Personal income taxes only.

VITA program

Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency hosts the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program. The free, IRS-sponsored program helps low- and middle-income people have their federal and state personal income taxes prepared and filed electronically for free. The program serves households and individuals with incomes up to $60,000. The volunteer tax preparers are trained and certified by the IRS. They provide secure, confidential tax preparation in Ashland and Superior.

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Those interested in free tax preparation through the VITA program can pick up an envelope from the agency office, 1118 Tower Ave., Superior, from 8 a.m. to noon and 12:45-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Once a packet is returned, volunteers will process it, call if there are any questions and set up an appointment to review the return with the client and file it.

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"Even if you don't think you're going to get a whole lot back, it would still be worth filing," said Millie Rounsville, chief executive officer of Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency. "Even if it was only $20. I mean, it's a few minutes of your time. Drop it off, review it, pick it up."

All documents and paperwork for the VITA program are kept in a locked cabinet in a locked room with limited access, she said.

The IRS has announced it will begin accepting returns Jan. 23. The agency's target date to start filing is Feb. 1. Packets can be picked up now, though, if people want to get the ball rolling.

"People may want to keep in mind the food pantry and the senior stock boxes are 9-11:30 on Mondays and Thursdays. So that can either be a benefit, you could grab your packet when you get those, or if you're not receiving those, there an be a little more traffic," Rounsville said.

Visit northwest-csa.org/tax-assistance-program , call the office in Superior, 715-392-5127, or in Ashland, 715-292-6400, ext. 1 for more information.

Virtual filing

Those who making up to $73,000 per year can file a free income tax return from home through myFreeTaxes.com , which is sponsored by the United Way. According to the site, there is no income limit for free income tax filing.

New this year, NWCSA will offer an option that allows people with incomes up to $60,000 to file taxes from their phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The program will also allow people to scan in documents through their phones, Rounsville said. To get the link, email taxassistance@northwest-csa.org and the agency will send the link.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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