Dispatches from Libraryland – Taxes!
Today is the last day to file taxes for 2016. While some people are rejoicing, others are scrambling to meet the midnight deadline. What many people don’t know is that your local public library can help you with certain aspects of your tax preparation. Here are five things to know about how libraries can help you for next year’s tax season:
- You can get tax forms at the library. The federal government provides many public libraries with some essential tax forms for patrons. Even if the government does not provide forms, friendly librarians can print most tax forms for patrons for a small fee upon request. However, go to the library knowing exactly which forms you need – librarians legally cannot give tax advice and cannot guess which forms to print.
- Some libraries host organizations who can help with actual tax preparation. FDL is not currently one of those libraries, but call around to different libraries in your area. Some of them will have tax specialists on hand for free assistance. However – call early! And by early, we mean December of the previous year or January – those appointments will fill up very fast.
- If you do your taxes online, FDL (and many other libraries) have public computers where you can do this. If your home library has a time limit for public computer use, explain that you are there to work on your taxes and ask if you can have a time extension.
- If you would like a more private area to work on your taxes, FDL has two study rooms on the second floor that patrons can reserve up to four weeks in advance. A person also does not need to have a Fondulac library card to use these rooms. These rooms seat 4-5 people and can be booked for two hours at a time. Call the library in advance though to make sure a room is available.
- Finally, while librarians are happy to offer all the assistance we can, it is important for patrons to know what that entails. We can print forms, get you to the IRS site on the computer, get you situated in a study room, or get you phone numbers and websites for tax assistance. But it’s super important to remember that librarians legally cannot offer tax or legal advice. We can’t tell you which forms you need, do taxes for or with you, or even answer what might seem like basic questions about how to fill out a tax form. But we’ll do our best to get you to other people who can help with those things.
Thanks for reading! Good luck if you are filing today!
Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist
Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.