Taxes: It’s that time of year again…

Well it’s that time of year that I mostly dread: tax season. It’s not that my own personal taxes that are well “taxing” but rather that I seem to be bombarded with questions regarding the tax code, forms and where free tax services can be found. I want people to have as much information as possible when it comes to their taxes so here is my attempt at doing just that.

First, there are several organizations that provide volunteer tax preparers and provide tax assistance at no cost. There may be some limitations to this service, (i.e. income restrictions, special circumstances). It is worth checking into to avoid the high cost of an accountant.
Here is a list of tax assistance offered in the area.
2011 TaxSites-Charleston/Berkeley/Dorchester

Some individuals still prefer the paper form system and wish to file using these forms. Well, the IRS does not print as many forms as they used to. In recent years, the IRS has printed fewer and fewer forms. As a result, libraries have not received as many for distribution. Needless to say, the government is trying to encourage the electronic filing system. However, if you really need forms or know someone who does , they are available. Most forms are available directly from the IRS website.

I just want to stress that librarians are not tax professionals, so we cannot answer any tax questions. The federal and state tax codes are very complex and tax professionals spend years learning it. As Io work in a public library, we provide access to the information. For example, I can look up a specific forms for a patron by title or form number but beyond that, there is little other advice we can legally offer.

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