Last week, the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office hosted a conference call with several Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials to issues surrounding the distribution of the 2014 fiscal year tax forms and instruction publications to libraries. Nearly 100 library leaders participated in the call.
Patricia Evans, director of IRS distribution, began by apologizing for the poor communications about the changes the IRS intended to initiate to begin cutting back on paper publications. But when her staff tried to adjust available materials to send more forms and instruction publications to public libraries participating in the Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP), Congress cut their budget by $300 million. Now, there is less funding that can be used to distribute publications to libraries.
We need some volunteers to work with the IRS to make plans of how the TFOP program and publication distribution for libraries will work.
L’Tanya Brooks, director of Media and Publications and she asked librarians on the call what they would suggest the IRS do going forward. Many librarians shared their ideas of how they were addressing this issue; from printing forms themselves to putting an RFID tag on instruction booklets for use only as a research tool in the library, which would prevent patrons from taking the forms home.
Dietra Grant is the director of Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) and she wants the IRS to do better going forward. She has asked Carol Quiller, IRS senior tax analyst, to manage a unique relationship with libraries. Quiller will work with librarians to decide how to best use the IRS’ dwindling resources. The leadership of the IRS is committed to moving all tax filers to file online.
Overall, we’ve been successful in making our case that the communication was insufficient and the IRS has agreed to listen to us and design their path forward with our advice. So now, we need some volunteers to work with the IRS to make plans of how the TFOP program and publication distribution for libraries will work.
If you’d like to become a library volunteer or provide feedback on the TFOP program, email Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.