Makes sense to seek guidance during tax season

Tax season is upon us, and I am writing today to encourage Shelby County constituents to seek guidance when preparing their tax returns this year.

Statistics show that more than 60 percents of taxpayers seek outside assistance when preparing individual tax returns. Because tax laws can sometimes be complicated, the Shelby County Library System would like to offer assistance to county residents with this task over the next few weeks.

Various Shelby County libraries will be offering tax prep assistance for this year’s tax period through IRS-trained volunteers and in cooperation with the MakingCents program. The VITA trained volunteers will be located at multiple library sites over the next few weeks at the following locations:

  • North Shelby Library on Sat., March 29 from 10am-4pm
  • Harrison Regional Library in Columbiana on Sat., April 5 from 9am-1pm

Eligible individuals must make under $52,000, have a basic return, and pre-register at each location by calling the individual library.

These tax prep classes are part of the MakingCents program, which is a free series provided by select public libraries in Birmingham as well as Jefferson and Shelby Counties. It provides unbiased information to help people of all ages, economic circumstances and cultural backgrounds make good financial decisions and plan for the future.

MakingCents is made possible through Smart investing@your library, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. It offers a number of resources both print and online as well as seminars and programs to assist anyone seeking to understand smart investing practices and to help people find ways to make the most of their money.

We are very fortunate to have tax professionals come to our various libraries. Tax season is a busy and hectic time of the year for many residents and our hope is that this will ease the burden of preparing individual tax returns in our community.

Those interested in finding out more information about these specific classes or other MakingCents programs are invited to visit or call 669-3910.

It truly makes sense to seek guidance during the 2014 tax season!

Barbara Roberts is the director of the Harrison Regional Library.