Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting Ready for Tax Season: How to Find Forms and File Online

It's that time of year again--tax season is almost upon us. The federal and state income tax filing season begins January 31. The deadline for federal tax returns is Tuesday, April 15, and the deadline for Louisiana income tax returns is May 15.

Federal Forms

All Terrebonne Parish library branches have the most common federal forms, including the 1040, 1040A, and 1040 EZ forms, and their instruction booklets. We also have associated forms, including Schedules A, B, C, C-EZ, D, E, and EIC. If you need other forms, we can print most shorter ones for you free of charge. However, we have to charge 10 cents per page to print out instruction books. All federal forms can be viewed online at We will be happy to get you on a public computer to view or print the forms you need. If you are an employer or self-employed, you can get forms such as the 1099 (which can be viewed but not printed online) at the Federal Building at 432 Lafayette Street in Houma.

State Forms

As for Louisiana state tax forms, this year the Louisiana Department of Revenue has stopped sending them to libraries. In fact, when we spoke with a representative in Baton Rouge, she said no state forms would be sent anywhere in Terrebonne Parish. To get physical copies of the forms, you have three options. You can print them from the state's website, at, starting January 31. You can also order tax forms by phone at 225-219-2113, or order them online at

Filing Online

In order to save paper and paperwork, both the federal and state tax agencies are pushing for people to file online. The IRS offers two basic electronic filing systems: Free File, which lets you use choose one of several free software packages provided by a variety of tax preparation services, and E-File, which is for more complicated tax situations. It uses paid versions of tax software and may be completed by your tax preparer. Many of the Free File packages allow you to file state as well as federal returns. The safest way to decide which service to use is to go directly to the IRS online filing page, at: If you want to file your state taxes online separately, you can do that at:

Tax Preparation at the Library

Volunteers with Catholic Charities, working through the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will be helping people file their taxes for free at the Main Library on Tuesdays, from February 4th through April 15 (except Mardi Gras day, March 4). They will be here from 9 AM to 3 PM, and help is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To qualify,  you must have earned less than $50,000 in 2013, and less made less than $100 in royalties. For more information about the information and paperwork to bring, go to

If you have any questions about tax forms and preparation at the library, call the Reference Department at 876-5864, option 2. Thanks!