Taxes: a certainty in life

Batia Bloomenthal | January 31, 2017

There are many certainties in life; every day the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, and every January people prepare to file their federal and state tax returns.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions which library staff have received about filing taxes.

Where can I get tax forms?
Tax forms may be found at most local libraries, including our own three Public Library of Brookline locations, Brookline Village, Coolidge Corner, and Putterham. Tax forms are also available to download and print from the Internal Revenue Service or the Massachusetts Department Of Revenue.

What forms can I get at the library?
The federal tax forms and their instruction booklets delivered to the library for distribution are 1040, 1040 A, and 1040 EZ. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides both Form-1 (Resident Income Return) and schedules and Form-1 NR/PY (Non/Part Year Resident) form and schedules.

Are these the only forms you have at the library? Why can’t I find all the forms I need here?
Ever since the 2015 tax filing season, the IRS has reduced the amount and variety of tax forms that are sent to libraries for distribution. Both the IRS and DOR encourage tax preparers to E-File.

I haven’t filed my taxes since “_” do you have forms from previous tax seasons?
The library only distributes tax forms for the current tax season; however tax preparers can find both federal and state tax forms from previous years online. Want to see what the U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form looked like from 1864, 1913, or 1948? You can.

What tax form should I file?
Unfortunately, library staff members are not certified to give our patrons advice about filing tax returns. Patrons with questions about filing federal tax returns can visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website or for state tax information please visit the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s homepage.

Who can tell me what form I should fill out?
For federal tax questions, tax payers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant which according to is “a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.”

Qualifying tax payers can also request free tax return preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program. To locate a local VITA program click here or call 800-906-9887. To locate a TCE program affiliate near you click here or call 888-227-7669.

For questions about state taxes click here.