Free tax preparation offered at the library
Tax season is inevitable. As the deadline to file personal income tax looms closer, concerns about filing taxes correctly often increase. To assist the community, the Boyle County Public Library has a limited selection of tax filing forms available.
The library’s reference department is tasked with overseeing the library’s supply of tax forms.
“Currently the library receives 1040, 1040-SR, & Schedules 1, 2, 3 tax forms and instructions for free,” says Reference Librarian Jamie Helle. “Any additional schedules or forms may be printed from a computer or copied at the tech desk on the 5th level. Kentucky forms are also available upon request at the tech desk.”
For many people, figuring out their taxes is an overwhelming task, especially when they aren’t certain which forms to use. Library staff aren’t qualified or permitted to give tax filing help (including form suggestions), so they bring in the experts who can help. The library has once again partnered with the AARP Foundation and the United Way of the Bluegrass to host free tax preparation service.
Going on now through April 14, tax preparation professionals are set up in the library on Tuesdays and Saturdays to assist people with the tax filing process. This service is made possible through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
VITA provides low- and moderate-income individuals and families with free, reliable assistance in filing federal tax returns. The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 made VITA a permanent program and ensured that millions of taxpayers can count on this critical program for many tax seasons to come.
At the library, the tax preparation services are available for walk-ins or by appointment, depending on the day.
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide services will be available 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays. Although anyone can use Tax-Aide — AARP membership isn’t required, and there are no age or income restrictions — the program is especially suited to low- to moderate-income taxpayers who are 50 and older. This walk-in service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Those wanting to use this service will need to bring the previous year’s tax return, a photo ID, and social security card. More information about what documents to bring can be found online at aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/ or by calling 888-AARP-NOW (888-227-7669).
- The United Way VITA Tax Preparation Assistance will be available by appointment only on 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays for people whose household income was less than $56,000 this past year. There are several ways to make an appointment: call 211 or 1-866-353-6354, text KYTAX to 898-211, or go online to uwbg.org/CKEEP for more information and to schedule an appointment.
The need for tax help is apparent, and the library is pleased to bring this valuable service to our patrons.
“For a number of years, the library has had the opportunity to partner with United Way VITA and AARP in providing free tax preparation assistance for basic returns,” says Public Services Librarian Caleb Conover. “In 2019, between both AARP and VITA, approximately 430 individuals utilized this service. We are delighted to continue this partnership into 2020 and beyond in serving the needs of our community.”
The Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project (CKEEP) is a coalition, led by United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG). CKEEP partners with the IRS to provide free tax preparation to low-income families and raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit.
According to the UWBG website, uwbg.org/ckeep, each year millions of dollars are lost by hard-working families in the Bluegrass who do not file for their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) during tax time. That money is lost to them and the local economy. The IRS estimates that approximately 20 to 25 percent of those eligible for the credit do not claim it because they don’t know they are eligible for it, they don’t know how to claim it, or they don’t know where to go for assistance. CKEEP’s goal is to make eligible households aware of the credit and help them claim it without having to pay for tax preparation and filing services.