By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Business Library carries tax forms going back to 1979
The majority of taxpayers now file their income taxes online, but if you are one of the roughly 20 percent who still submit on paper, don’t wait until the April 15 tax filing deadline to pick up your forms, because you may not find them in time.
In its push to encourage electronic filing, the IRS no longer automatically sends taxpayers paper income tax packages in the mail. Breaking years of tradition, tax forms are no longer available at many post office branches -- and not all library branches carry them, either.
For the computer-literate, most forms can be downloaded from the IRS website, though a few must be requested directly from the IRS. Call 1-800-TAX-FORM for more information.
The IRS also offers forms and tax assistance at Taxpayer Assistance Centers. The Brooklyn assistance center is located at 2 Metro Tech, 1st floor, 718-834-6559, Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
In Brooklyn, basic Federal and New York State tax forms are still available at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza and the Business and Career Library at 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights. (Call other branches to find out if they carry them.)
Some forms from previous years can be found at the Central and Business branches as well. The Central Library has reproducible copies of Federal tax forms from 2007-2011 and New York State tax forms for the years 2010-2011.
An even larger selection is available at the Business branch, which has reproducible copies of Federal tax forms 1983 to 2011 and New York State tax forms 1979-1984,1986-1991,1994-2005, and 2008-2011.
“The [Business] library's staff has done, in my opinion, a fantastic job this year in putting together a collection of tax forms for the federal and state income taxes,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Martin Feuerman via email to the Brooklyn Eagle.
“They have all of the most commonly used forms (and some not so common!),” he said. “They have organized the forms by reserving a couple of bookshelves in the Business Library, and have indicated the form numbers on the edges of the shelves so it is easy to locate what you need. And by the way, they have forms for late filers. I'm sure many will miss this annual service if the library closes (even ‘temporarily’).”
If you want to try your hand at filing your own taxes online, the IRS offers a “Free File” online option for those with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less.
New York State also offers an e-file service. Note: To save money, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance eliminated its toll-free tax help line. Callers must dial 518-457-5181; long-distance charges apply.