LIBRARY SHELF: It's tax season at the library
(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / January 25, 2022) – The end of January always means the same thing at the library...the beginning of tax season. It’s when people start dropping in or calling to check on two things (1) whether tax forms have arrived in the library yet and (2) the status of AARP’s free tax assistance service. I’m here to update you and answer some of our most frequently asked questions.
First, AARP-Tax Aides will provide free tax preparation help by appointment only, just like last year. There are a limited number of appointments available, so if you can get your taxes prepared by alternate methods, please consider doing so to help ensure there are enough appointments for those in our community who need them the most. You can find updates about all things tax-related on the library’s tax page at library.stillwater.org/taxes.php.
When can I sign up for an appointment?
The AARP will start taking appointments on Friday, Jan. 28, at 9 a.m.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Beginning Friday, Jan. 28, there will be three ways to get an appointment: (1) Visit library.stillwater.org/taxes.php and sign-up online (2) Visit the library in person during regular hours or (3) Call the Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106.
Note: No matter how you sign-up, you absolutely must come by the library to pick up an intake packet and have it complete BEFORE your scheduled appointment time. The packet will list all additional documentation you need to bring with you.
What days and times are appointments available?
Intake appointments (when you’ll come with your prepared intake packet and meet with an AARP Tax-Aide) will be on Mondays. Appointments usually last around 20 minutes. The first appointment of the day will begin at 9:20 a.m., and the last one will be at 12:40 p.m. You will need to be available to pick up your completed taxes on Friday at the same time you had your intake appointment. For example, if your intake appointment is Monday at 9:40 a.m., your pick-up appointment will be Friday at 9:40 a.m.
Note: The library is closed on Monday, Feb. 21, for President’s Day, so during that week only, intake appointments will be on Tuesday.
When will tax help end?
AARP aligns their free tax help with IRS tax deadlines. The last appointments for free tax help will be Monday, April 11.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes. The AARP requires that anyone getting free tax help wear a mask over their nose and mouth. They’ll have extra masks available for free for those who need them. Additionally, please do not come to your appointment if you are ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
If I’m unable to get an appointment this year, what will I do?
If you made $73,000 or less adjusted gross income in 2021, you can file for free online using a link from the library’s website for IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through OnLine Taxes (OLT). There are no age restrictions and free eFile options are available for federal and state tax returns. Anyone using the service can also send questions about returns via email to a certified tax coach.
Additional free file options for taxpayers are available using IRS Free File online. Various partners have different restrictions. Review each partner’s rules and select the best option for your situation at www.IRS.gov. The AARP also offers online guided assistance. Visit taxaide.aarpfoundation.org for more details and to put in a request for help.
Does the library still have paper forms?
Yes, but they haven’t arrived yet. Federal forms usually arrive at the very end of January or early February. But, there are very few forms sent out to institutions like libraries in bulk. We will eventually receive 1040 forms and instruction booklets from the IRS in English and Spanish. Oklahoma does not send any paper forms. So all state tax forms, and all other federal forms must be accessed online or requested for mailing.
How can I access other forms?
Request hard copies of Oklahoma tax forms by calling 1-800-522-8165 or visiting oklahoma.gov/tax/forms.html to access them online. For federal forms, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) or go to www.irs.gov/forms-instructions. Librarians can print forms and instructions for 10 cents per page. (Except employment-related forms such as W-2, 1099 MISC, or 1096 as the versions available online are not eligible for mail-in.)