It's Tax Time
March 30, 2018
The deadline to file 2017 tax returns is April 17, 2018, which is a Tuesday. Typically, tax day is April 15, but that falls on a Sunday this year, and the District of Columbia observes Emancipation Day on April 16 (Monday). So that means we all get two extra days to file! Use this time, and the resources we've put together in this post, to get your taxes filed.
Use the tax preparation and filing software found at IRS Free File to prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free.
The Village of Skokie Human Services Division offers federal income tax help free of charge to low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Get free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, from Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). They specialize in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
The Center for Economic Progress (CEP) and Ladder Up provide free income tax preparation and electronic filing for families with annual incomes up to $55,000, and individuals with annual incomes up to $30,000. Learn more from the Illinois Department of Human Services.
See what forms we have available at the library on this tax form page or use the links provided there to download them online.
Let's Talk Taxes
Recently we hosted a Civic Lab at the library titled "Let’s Talk Taxes," where we did just that. We also provided resources for further exploration on the taxes Americans pay, how tax rates are determined, and how tax revenue is used. Visit the Civic Lab page and check out the sections below to learn more.
There are several different types of tax philosophies. Here are a few with definitions supplied by Investopedia:
Progressive tax – a tax that takes a larger percentage from high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals
Regressive tax – a tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income earners than from high-income earners
Flat tax – a system that applies the same tax rate to every taxpayer regardless of income bracket
Here are some books and websites for those interested to learning more about taxes.
What Are Taxes? by Lynnae D. Steinberg
Steinberg breaks down the concepts of taxes and government funding for early elementary readers. The author also provides a history of taxes starting from Ancient Roman times.
Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know by Leonard Burman
Personal income tax, business income tax, sales tax, property taxes—it can all be quite confusing. Burman breaks it down for readers interested in understanding the American tax system.
Paying Taxes by Sarah De Capua
This easy-to-understand book for grades 3-5 explains the different types of taxes, why they are paid, and what they support.
“Understanding Taxes: The Quick and Simple Way to Understand Your Taxes”
The Internal Revenue Service provides information to help teachers instruct and students learn about the tax system in the United States.
“What Are the Differences between Regressive, Proportional and Progressive Taxes?”
This resource moves past politics while explaining the differences between each tax philosophy.