Electronic Tax Filing at Greensboro Public Library Locations

If you have a Greensboro Public Library card and want to file your taxes online, you can do so at any library location.  Websites which provide free or low-cost filing for NC returns and IRS returns are shown with requirements and links at the N. C. Department of Revenue e-file requirements link.  Websites which provide free IRS return filing (including those at the link above) and free or fee-based NC return filing can be found at a link maintained by the IRS – 2010 Free File.  Taxpayers can sign on to public computers at any library location with their library card numbers.  Prints are 10 cents each and can be made with a print card.  The card costs $1.00, comes with 10 prints value, and can be reloaded with more value as it is used.

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NC Tax Form Access at Greensboro Public Library Locations

In an effort to reduce cost and encourage electronic filing, the N. C. Department of Revenue will not provide tax forms or instruction booklets to libraries and post offices for give-away to the public this year.  Taxpayers with Greensboro Public Library cards can sign on to a public-use computer at a library location and download and print out NC tax forms and instruction booklets at the N. C. Department of Revenue download site.  At library locations, printouts cost 10 cents each.  They are made with a print card.  The card costs $1.00 and comes with 10 prints value on it.  More value can be added to the card as it is used.   If a taxpayer prefers to order forms online instead of printing them out, he/she can do so at another link available-the N. C. Department of Revenue order site.  Forms ordered in this way are free.

IRS Tax Forms at Greensboro Public Library locations

IRS tax forms are available at Greensboro Public Library locations in a number of ways.  Free copies of the following forms can be picked up at any library location:  1040 forms, 1040 instructions, 1040A forms, 1040A instructions, 1040EZ forms, 1040EZ instructions, schedule 2441, schedule 2441 instructions, schedule R, schedule R instructions, schedule A, schedule B, schedule EIC, schedule L, schedule M, and form 4868. 

Some other IRS forms can be photocopied from a reproducible tax forms notebook provided by the IRS.  The price per photocopy is 15 cents with coins or 10 cents with a copy/print  card.  Still other forms can be printed out from the IRS website.   Prints are 10 cents each and are made with a copy/print card.  The card costs $1.00, has 10 prints value on it, and can have more money added as the first 1o prints value is used.   Library card holders can sign on to a public computer with Internet access with their library card number.

Tax Help at Library Locations for 2010

What follows is Greensboro Public Library’s schedule for free tax help for your 2009 tax returns.  AARP Taxaide will help low and middle income taxpayers, especially those 60 and over.  VITA will help taxpayers who make $49,000 or less.  These volunteers may be unable to assist you with very complex returns. Documents you should bring with you are listed after the schedule below.

Central Library AARP* Taxaide (first come, first served): 

Every Tuesday and Thursday starting Tuesday, February 2, through Thursday, April 15, from 9:30-4 

Three February Fridays from 12:30-4: Feb 12, Feb 19, and Feb 26

Central Library VITA** (first come, first served): 

Every Saturday starting Saturday, February 6, through Saturday, April 10, 9:30 am -12:30 pm

EXCEPTIONS:  February 13 (President’s Day Saturday) and April 3 (Easter Saturday)

Benjamin Branch (first come, first served):

Tuesdays  starting Feb. 2 and ending Tuesday, April 6, 4-7 pm

Saturdays starting Jan 30 and ending Saturday, April 10, 10 am – 1 pm 

EXCEPTION:  Easter Saturday, April 3

Vance Chavis Branch (Appointment only, 373-5838):

Thursdays starting Thursday, February 4, through Thursday, April 8, 6:15-9 pm

Glenwood Branch (first come, first served):

Friday, Jan 29, 3-5 pm

Saturdays starting Jan 30 and ending March 27, 9:30-11:30 am

McGirt-Horton Branch (Appointment only, phone 373-5810):

Tuesdays starting Feb 2 and ending April 6, 6:30 pm on

All tax filers should bring: 1) Social Security cards for themselves, spouses, and dependents; 2) government issued photo IDs or driver’s licenses for themselves and spouses; 3) copies of last year’s tax return; 4) all forms that show federal income tax paid; and 5) all documents concerning income. 

Frank Barefoot, Greensboro Public Library

*American Association of Retired Persons

** Volunteers in Tax Assistance

Man Dies When His Boat Collides with Confederate Wreck

Here’s a tragic story with a bizarre twist:  a Texas fisherman named David Martin drowned in the Navidad River earlier this month when his boat collided with the wreck of a Confederate blockade-runner named the Mary Summers. 

The ship was intentionally sunk late in the Civil War in order to block Union boats which attempted to navigate the river. 

As Federal warships kept the Southern coastline bottled up during most of the war, blockade running steamships, such as the CSS Advance pictured above (which was purchased by Governor Zebulon Vance for the State of North Carolina), played a vital and daring role in supplying the Confederacy.      

This is not the first time a boat has collided with the wreck of the Mary Summers, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though previous efforts to mark the wreck have failed.  

However, in an interview with the Victoria Advocate, the chairman of the Jackson County Historical Commission, Frank Condron, implied that the wreck site was unmarked owing to fears it would be despoiled by artifact hunters.   

The Mary Summers was built in England in 1833 and is said to have once been used as a slave ship. 

You can read about this strange accident here and here

If you’d like to read more about the blockade-runners of the Confederacy, Greensboro Public Library’s circulating titles include:  High Seas Confederate:  The Life and Times of John Newland Maffitt by Royce Shingleton;  Lifeline of the Confederacy : Blockade Running During the Civil War by Stephen R. Wise; The Blockade-runners:  True Tales of Running the Yankee Blockade of the Confederate Coast by Dave Horner; and Blockade Runners of the Confederacy by Hamilton Cochran.  Additional works can be found in our non-circulating North Carolina Collection at Central Library.

N.C. Unemployment Hits 11.2%

The News and Record reported more bad news on the economic front today as the unemployment rate in North Carolina rose to an “historic high” in December of 11.2%.  The previous high was last May’s 11.1%.

In his blog yesterday, economist Paul Krugman echoed his familiar refrain, warning that the “recovery [for the national economy] isn’t looking very good” and that “this recovery is going to be jobless for quite a while.” 

And this AP article from late last month was downright scary.  It suggests that Americans may be in for a full decade of high unemployment.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s 4.1% drop this week was its worst showing since last March.  Investors are getting jittery about the Obama Administration’s plans to adopt former FED Chief Paul Volcker’s recommendations for the reform of big banks, as well as deteriorating Senate support for current FED Chief Ben Bernanke.        

As always, if you’re unemployed and looking for work, please take a look at Greensboro Public Library’s Job and Career Information page.

Have the Bones of Caravaggio Been Discovered?

Italian archaeologists are claiming to have discovered the remains of the last great Italian renaissance artist, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571–1610), whose influence is credited with inspiring the Baroque painting style of the late 16th-18th centuries. 

Caravaggio’s paintings are especially known for their dark, brooding shadows and the contrasts of dark and light which are known as the chiaroscuro style. 

But in addition to being an artist of legendary talent, Caravaggio apparently had a rather sordid personal life and seems constantly to have been in trouble, fighting brawls, fleeing from one place to another, and even being accused of murder.  

Some are convinced in fact that the great Caravaggio himself was murdered, though the Italian archaeological team led by Georgio Gruppioni, which claims to have found his remains, believes they have documentation — in the form of a death certificate — that he died of natural causes.

Comparison with the DNA of Caravaggio’s descendants will be employed to prove or disprove the identity of the remains, which were originally buried at San Sebastiano and later moved to a crypt in a church in Porto Ercole.  The bones were apparently in an unmarked ossuary.    

However, British art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon is skeptical that the bones are really those of the famous artist.  “In my view, there’s no way in hell they can say they have found Caravaggio’s remains,” he says. “What’s the proof? They found a headstone saying: ‘Here Lies Caravaggio’?”  And he claims the death certificate is fake.

Nonetheless, everyone seems to be in agreement that Caravaggio was a towering figure — Graham-Dixon calls him “one of the two or three greatest and most original painters ever to have lived.”

If you’d like to learn more about Caravaggio, Greensboro Public Library has a few books which may be of interest, including The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr, Caravaggo:  Painter Of Miracles by Francine Prose, M:  The Man Who Became Caravaggio by Peter Robb, and Caravaggio by Catherine Puglisi.