Thursday, March 14, 2013

Paper or e-file. How do you file your taxes?

"My goal is to have nobody file on paper." -Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter

Interesting article in the Boston Globe yesterday that features one of the library's most asked about questions this time of year, tax forms!

It's no secret that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and the IRS want more people e-file their taxes rather than send out paper forms. It's cheaper for them to process electronically and they don't have to spend all that money on paper. Massachusetts alone spends over $1 million dollars on printing out their tax booklets. The IRS estimates that it spends $3.50 in processing each paper tax form opposed to $.15 per tax form electronically. If you feel comfortable

That said, there are still a lot of people that simply don't have access to accounting software to do it online or don't feel comfortable enough with computers to do them online and understandably so. The state and IRS have been somewhat reluctant in sending out extra copies of tax booklets we need, but the demand here has been very strong. Libraries and other community centers will continue to provide tax forms, but I have to say that the IRS is making it more difficult to keep up with the demand for them. Thank you for your patience while we were waiting for instruction booklets, especially the 1040, and I'm happy to say that we have just about everything tax-related you could need. Anything that we don't currently have in stock can also be printed from a library computer.

On a related note about taxes, we're lucky to have the volunteers of AARP come in to the library three times a week to assist people in preparing their taxes. AARP Tax Aid is the largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance program in the U.S. The program serves low and middle income taxpayers with special attention to those age 60 and older. If you're interested in setting up an appointment at the library, call Bill Cranshaw with AARP at 978-760-9146

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