Tools to Help You Navigate 2021’s Tax Season

By Laura, Reference Librarian

Whether a tax pro or noviceafter getting through the 2020 roller coaster ridethere may be a couple of questions or details to keep in mind when preparing to file. 

The library isn’t a source for tax advice (we’re not tax experts). However, the library is a mecca of information and resources to help customers navigate challenges and make an informed decision Accessing provided links and materials for reliable resources could be the first step in wading through the confusion and file your taxes with confidence.  

If you’re working on 2020 taxes or preparing for 2021, the IRS has multiple tools and sources of information to help. For instance, preparers can estimate current check withholdingorganize tax and financial documents, review filing status, determine Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and deductions, as well as life events that could impact status including employment changes, family additions, education, homeownership, retirement and more.  

There’s a lot to think about when tackling taxes, but it doesn’t have to be done solo. If you have multiple questions about filing your 2020 taxes, including timelines and deadlines, COVID stimulus and assistance taxation, unemployment payments or even just tracking your refund, visit IRS.gov or the Ohio Department of Taxation. Depending on income or living situation, you may also qualify for free tax-prep assistance programs, some of which are listed below. General information and guidance resources are available at the library, as well.  

Forms available at public libraries: 

  • Ohio Instruction Booklet 
  • Federal Instruction Booklet  
  • Federal 1040/1040-SR forms 

Free Tax-prep Assistance:  

  • United Way Tax Prep - free tax preparation appointments for those who qualify.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or (TCE) Tax Counseling for the Elderly Programs – Access VITA if you’re an individual with an income of %57,000 or less, have a disability or have limited English proficiency. Access TCE if you’re 60 years or old. Both programs offer free tax filing help and related assistance.  
  • AARP Tax Aide – This program is available to anyone in need of tax assistance, with special focus on individuals who are 50 or older with low to moderate income.  
  • IRS Free File – If your adjusted gross income was $72,000 or under, the IRS has a free tool to locate free online filing programs for federal taxes. Some fees for filing certain state taxes may apply.  
  • H&R Block – Depending on your living situation, you may qualify for H&R Block’s free tax filing tool for federal and state taxes. 
  • Turbo Tax Free – Turbo Tax’s free edition is provided depending on qualifying factors, providing tax assistance and professional review.  

Helpful Resources: 

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Tools to Help You Navigate 2021’s Tax Season

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