Friday, March 13, 2009

Top Tax Questions Tackled

With one month left until the April 15 deadline for filing federal income taxes, the Goodson Law Library usually begins to hear an increase in tax-related questions from library users. Here are our top three tax questions:

1. Does the library have tax forms? The Goodson Law Library does not maintain a collection of printed tax forms, but visitors are able to access and print the IRS’s collection of Forms and Publications or state tax forms on our public-access workstations. (If you prefer paper copies of forms, check your local Durham County Library branch.)

2. Can library staff help me do my taxes? Library staff are unable to provide substantive advice on legal problems or interpret legal materials for you, including tax laws. However, Duke Law does have a student organization, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), which assists low- and moderate-income taxpayers with the preparation of tax returns. VITA’s website provides a calendar with various locations; appointments are recommended for most VITA sites.

3. Where can I apply for an extension if I need more time to file? Federal tax form 4868 allows you to extend your filing date until October 15, 2009. North Carolina taxpayers may apply for an automatic six-month extension by filing Form D-210. Note that in both cases, an extension of time to file does not mean an extension to pay estimated taxes owed!