Tax forms have arrived … sort of

The State and the Feds severely cut back the forms and instructions they are willing to send us, so we’ve had to change things. Click on “read more” to find out. You will not be able to simply drop by the Library to pick up everything you need. We realize this post is too soon for procrastinators and the wrong place for the computer illiterate, but if you know of such a person please pass the word.

Forms and instructions available at the Library

If you insist upon putting on your green eyeshade and doing everything manually, we have most of the forms you need, but instructions are another matter.

New York sent us 20 copies of the instructions for the Full-year Resident Income Tax Form (IT-201) and will not send us any more. Therefore, we will not give them away. Instead we will do what we do best and lend them to you, free of charge (unless you return them late). The instructions can be checked out for one week and are available at the Front Desk. We also have copies available for in-Library use. You can download the forms (see below) or call the Department of Taxation and Finance, (518) 457-5431, as well.
The IRS sent us a fair number of 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ instructions, so we are giving them away. If you need other instructions or forms, you can get them off the internet (see below). If you want them mailed to you, call the IRS,  1-800-829-3676, or order them online. If you need help ordering forms online, a Reference Librarian will be glad to help you.  New York does not have an order online for delivery by mail option.

You can download forms and instructions from the Internet

As a general rule, you can download forms and instructions from https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs for the federal forms and from  https://www.tax.ny.gov/forms/income_cur_forms.htm for New York State forms. We cannot waive the 15 cent/page printing costs, so printing the 72 page instructions for the IT-201 will set you back $10.80.

You can complete and file your taxes online

You can eliminate the need for forms at all by filing your taxes electronically. A good place to get started is the Federal Government’s Free File page. If your income is below $64,000 there is free software to help you complete and file both state and federal taxes. Over $64,000 you can fill out forms online, but you have to pay for the software to help you figure things out. New York has a similar program.
If you are going to use a library computer to prepare and file your taxes, please let the Reference Librarian at the front desk know just after you begin your session. The librarian will give you an extended session so you won’t be interrupted. Don’t wait until the session is almost over as another patron may have reserved your computer. When you have finished, restart the computer. This will erase all your private data. Bear in mind that these are public computers and we make no guarantees of the security of your information or your privacy. If this is unclear, ask a Librarian for help.

Our Reference Librarians are glad to help you find the forms and instructions you need to complete your taxes. They are not tax experts, though, and cannot help you figure out what forms and instructions you should use.

If you need help preparing your taxes there are volunteers ready to help (though there may be some income restrictions). You can find locations, times and what you need to bring at this website: www.irs.gov/vita.