Two of the big interviews; Bob McGillivray on video magnifiers (March 24 ) and Vicki Vogt on accessible TV and movies, were delayed first by the outrageous amounts of snow we had in Massachusetts, and now by the looming tax deadline. Vicki and a ton of good information will be posted next Tuesday, April 7.
Here is a guest post on help with your tax return, by Gina Russo, Perkins Library Outreach & Newsline Specialist.
First, if you are desperate, go to an IRS office, sit there for hours and they will finally fill out your tax return. They know all the blind exemptions.
If you are filling out the long form, the 1099 for consultancy and self employed work, there is a lot you can claim for. If you are using the short easy form, there is not so much.
Tax Tips from the IRS for People with Disabilities
(repost from the Braille Forum, March, 2015)
Hundreds of accessible federal tax forms and publications are available for download from the IRS accessibility web page, http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS.gov Accessibility .
Visit IRS.gov and select the Forms & Pubs tab to access the Accessible Forms and Pubs link. You can choose from large print, text, accessible PDFs, e braille, or HTML formats that are compatible when used with screen readers and refreshable braille displays.
The IRS also provides American Sign Language videos with the latest tax information; visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el xueE ZDY&list=PL634968897EAEA4FD&index=3 (link is external) to view them.
Preparation Help Available
People who are unable to complete their tax returns because of a physical disability or are age 60 or older may get assistance through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. You can find a nearby VITA or TCE location by calling:
1 800 906 9887
For people with extra disabilities publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, and is available at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p907/index.html (link is external)
There is also a local resource available for Boston, offering free tax preparation! (I do not know if they still have open slots.) It s called The Neighborhood Developers (TND), and it offers free tax preparation services to area residents, from January to April of each year. The TND website says,
“In 2013, we helped more than 1,000 households prepare their taxes for free, and refunded $1.6 million! We participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax prep for families across the country, generally with incomes below $53,000. All our volunteers receive training and must pass a certification exam by the IRS. During tax season, you may register over the phone by calling (617) 889 1375 x126. If you would like to talk with someone at TND about the ITIN application process call Blake at (617) 889 1375 x 128.
Please post a comment to tell us how you are dealing with hazards at home. Let the rest of us learn from your experience.