Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tax Time!

It is just me or has a crazy rumor sprung around the populace that the library would do your taxes for free?

I've gotten calls and walk-ups handing me some W2s, claiming that they heard the library does taxes. Even more surprising, it's almost a defiant disappointment when they find out that not only do we not do taxes for free, we've never done it, ever. I've had people argue with me that not only the library said it'd do taxes, but they've gotten their taxes done by the librarians before. Seriously, if I was able to prep taxes, why do I relgiously have mine done by my CPA? Plus, if the library really did do taxes, why do places like H&R Block exist?

I would write a particular instance, but it's happened so much, no one time sticks out.

Is anyone else out there in library land that has had to deal with this epidemic?


Mella DP said...

Good 'ol Juice deals with this one a lot:

Bigenarian Librarian said...

Boy, do I ever! I can't tell you how many times people have asked me to do their taxes. My theory is that when another agency gets frusterated or can't help a person, they tell that person, "Oh, you can do that down at the library!"
So friggin annoying.

Thom said...




At Reference, of all places. Sent to us by Circ., of course.

Juice S. Aaron said...

We're getting it a lot this year too. In fact, last week a lady came marching up to the desk with her tax forms and said, "And I need to ask you a question about my taxes." I held up a hand to stop her and explained that I cannot legally answer any questions about her taxes. We are a public library and cannot open ourselves up to reprisals from people who's taxes we might or might not have screwed up by giving them bogus tax advice plucked from our collective ass. I didn't use those words, but that was the gist. As with your patrons, she looked mightilly offended that not only weren't we going to do her taxes, but that we couldn't answer her questions. She asked if I knew where she could get them done and I suggested H&R Block. She countered that she wanted them done for free, at which point my boss stepped in with that day's paper and an article about a local church who were providing tax serivce.

We've since posted that article to our bulletin board.

Paula said...

I think it's because some libraries used to have some help from AARP, who would coome in to do taxes for Senior Citizens for free. However, you had to make an appointment, and it wasn't a service available to everyone.