Tax Time is Just Around the Corner – Grand County Libraries can help |

Tax Time is Just Around the Corner – Grand County Libraries can help

Stephanie Ralph
Grand County Libraries
Grand County, CO Colorado

Unless you are an accountant, chances are you could be searching for an upside to the forthcoming 2010 tax season. It is also possible that Benjamin Franklin’s often quoted; “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” does little to engender a sense of optimism. To place the April 15th deadline in perspective, you might try contemplating some ingenious taxation methods from the past. Peter the Great of Russia was a real lateral thinker when it came to raising money. In the seventeenth century, he taxed beards at an annual rate of 100 rubles a chin, horse collars, beehives, boots, hats, drinking water and even souls. In an attempt to raise money from the wealthy, the English of the same period taxed fireplaces, windows, candles and wallpaper.

Compared to the unfortunates from the past, our current system seems almost equitable and uncomplicated. The secret is to start early and make use of the many low cost and free options for assistance. The Grand County Library District has several resources to help. You can stop by your local library to pick up or copy the forms you need. The library website at offers easy access to state and federal online tax aides and forms to help you prepare your own returns. These will walk you through the process with helpful questions, possible options and a final calculation. Click on the link “Tax Forms” found on the front page of the library site. The online resources are accessible from outside the library building without a library card.

Additional up-to-date information is available for checkout. In the How Sulphur Springs library branch, “How to Pay Zero Taxes, 2010” by Jeff A. Schnepper focuses on tax saving, not tax preparation. This is an easy-to-read, easy-to-apply guide covering deductions and potential tax breaks including those related to child care and elder care, job hunting expenses, mortgages and points, investment expenses, and 401(k)s.

The Granby Library offers “Easy ways to Lower your Taxes : Simple Strategies every Taxpayer should Know” by Sandra Block and Stephen Fishman. Easy Ways to Lower Your Taxes provides legitimate tactics and useful insights that can really lower your tax bill without running afoul of the IRS. Information is provided on tax planning: lowering your tax rate, boosting your tax-free income, deferring tax payments, making the most of deductions, taking advantage of exemptions and identifying the use of credits. Each rule is accompanied by excerpts, strategies, ideas, and real-world examples, plus information on retirement plans, home mortgages, student loans, charitable contributions, medical expenses, dependents.

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The “Taxes for Dummies” by Eric Tyson, Margaret Atkins Munro, David J. Silverman is available for checkout from the Juniper Library at Grand Lake. This edition of the familiar series walks readers (not necessarily dummies) through the major tax forms line by line, including the 1040 Schedule A through E-File with helpful tips and strategies for filing income tax returns accurately and on time. The book is aimed at individuals who want to do their own taxes without hiring a preparer. Financial expert Eric Tyson teams up with tax experts Margaret Munro and David Silverman to answer the most frequently asked tax questions.

In his book, “How to Pay Zero Taxes, 2010” Jeff A. Schnepper offers an energizing final word of advice for tax procrastinators. “Stop thinking about it and get moving. Until you actually start your return, you’ll never finish it. That’s probably going to slow down your refund. If you don’t have all your numbers, just put your name and address on the form. It will get you in the mindset to move forward”.

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