Friday, January 29, 2010

Tax Form Season

From a post on PUBLIB, I picked up this blog posting in Closed Stacks (a group blog and this post in unsigned).

First of all, the title is great! Tax Season: Who Needs It?

The leading paragraph drives home a critical and growing issue: government agencies unilaterally deciding to end provision of paper forms without considering the impact on either the end user or the library.
In an increasingly paperless world, it seems as though people have decided tax forms, along with birth certificates, death certificates, and wills, are better off in paper form. Unfortunately, the government does not share the same sentiment. For the past few years, they have cut the amount of forms and information they send to libraries, and tell us, “It’s all on our website!”.
The library I currently work in serves all state agency employees, supports the state's public libraries, as well as any one who calls, contacts us, or walks in.

We have a huge collection of tax forms. We are seeing large numbers of people also come in for state tax forms. State forms are being made available in paper, almost exclusively, through public libraries.

In Louisiana only 42.9% of households have Internet access, compared to 50.8% at the national level. Where do various government and business entities think that the unconnected are going to get the forms, or submit the data asked for (e.g. job applications)? They are going to come to the public library.

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