LOS ANGELES — With two months to go until Tax Day, many Americans have embarked upon the usual scramble to track down the receipts and IRS forms that will let them complete the most dreaded of annual rituals. But there is help. The Los Angeles Public Library offers free tax preparation and filing at many of its branches through April 13.
Which branches offer free tax help?
Free tax preparation and filing are available at 16 LA Public Library branches:
Arroyo Seco Regional Library: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Baldwin Hills Branch Library: Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Central Library: Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
El Sereno Branch Library: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Exposition Park-Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library: Sunday, Feb. 26, 1 to 4 p.m.
Harbor City-Harbor Gateway Branch Library: Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lincoln Heights Branch Library: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mid-Valley Regional Library: Mondays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., excluding holidays
Van Nuys Branch Library: Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m.; Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding holidays
North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pacoima Branch Library: Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays noon to 4 p.m.
Panorama City Branch Library: Fridays, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun Valley Branch Library: Thursdays, 2 to 6 p.m.
Westwood Branch Library: Saturday, April 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Do I need to make an appointment, or can I just walk in?
Appointments are preferred and can be made online through the LA Public Library website, but walk-ins are also welcome.
Who can use the service?
The service is free for people “who generally make $60,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance,” according to the library’s website. The library has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and the American Association of Retired Persons Foundation Tax-Aide to offer the help.
Is the service only available in English?
No. Many branches offer help in Spanish as well as English. A handful also offers help in Armenian, Farsi, Russian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.
What forms will the library help me fill out and file?
The library can only help with basic income tax preparation, including IRS Form 1040 and California form 540.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
To complete your taxes, the IRS requires a photo ID; social security cards for whomever is filing the taxes and their dependents; wage and earning statements such as a form W-2 and 1099-R; interest and dividend statements from banks; a copy of last year’s federal and state returns; proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check; and daycare provider information.