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Tax help available as filing deadline approaches

by
A 2011 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form is seen in New York April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A 2011 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form is seen in New York April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- The deadline to file your tax return is approaching but there's still help available for those who need a hand.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Richard Chandler says if you still need to file, electronic filing is the way to go. "E-filing is really the most convenient and the quickest way to go for people who are comfortable with the process and have access to a computer. Most people do have access to computers, and 84 percent of people e-filed last year." Websites that are part of an official program with the IRS offer free filing services to people who qualify.

If you can't use a computer, Chandler says there's also local help available to those who need a hand getting their returns completed. "They can go to our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites. If they're low income or elderly or from a military family or if they have a disability, they qualify for assistance at those sites." You can find out where those sites are locally by dialing 2-1-1 for assistance.

And if you just don't think you can get your return done in time, the IRS allows you to fill for an automatic extension until October 15th. Chandler stresses you still need to pay your taxes. "We do emphasise this is an extension of the time it takes to file your return, it's not an extension of the time you have to pay your tax liability."

You can learn more about filing taxes, the free assistance programs and more online at http://www.irs.gov.

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