2013 Tax Year Resources

Tax Forms and Resources at the Beaufort County Public Library

All five locations of the Beaufort County Public System keep many tax forms for your convenience, but there are limits to the services and materials that staff can provide. A library is not a tax office, but provides tax materials strictly as a public service.

FORMS AT THE LIBRARY: Library patrons may take free federal and South Carolina tax forms and instructions for their own use, as supplies last. For less-requested forms and those temporarily "out of stock" at the library, there are binders with many (but not all) tax forms reproducible by photocopying or printing from a computer. Tax agencies send libraries only a limited number of forms. From time to time, the Library may run out of free forms due to unexpected demand. Until new supplies arrive, it is necessary to photocopy or print the forms at ten cents a page.  

NOTE: During the month of January, some library branch locations are still acquiring supplies of state and federal forms. Please phone your nearest library location before making a visit.

Free Tax Assistance Schedule

Local and Area Tax Offices

For information about face-to-face tax help at the Charleston and Columbia IRS (Federal taxes) offices, visit the Contact my Local IRS Office in South Carolina Web page

For the Savannah office, visit the Contact my Local IRS Office in Georgia Web page.

For information about assistance at the Charleston and Columbia DOR (State taxes) offices, visit the Taxpayer Service Centers Web page.

Tax Forms and Publications on the Internet

CURRENT FEDERAL FORMS

  • The Internal Revenue Service - provides a large selection of federal tax forms and publications to download and print out.
  • Yahoo! Tax Center - is a quick source of the most common federal and state forms, with links to tax calculators, calendars and other online tax tools.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE FORMS

  • State of South Carolina Department of Revenue - It's not just for forms and publications any more. Many taxpayers can now file their state tax returns over the Internet on this web site. Find information about filing income tax returns in South Carolina. Visitors to the site can even check the status of state tax refunds.

OUT-OF-STATE FORMS

GENERAL RESOURCES

  • 1040.com - from Drake Software, which offers everything "from news to forms to general tax information." Find late-breaking tax news, IRS Bulletin Board Service notes, federal forms (current and for prior years), state tax forms (and state addresses and links), as well as links to other tax and finance-related site.
  • Tax and Accounting Sites Directory - a comprehensive index of Internet resources. Tax sites include federal tax law, state taxes, international taxes, tips/articles/updates and information on online tax preparation.

Tax Forms from Commercial Providers

Though the libraries do not have employer forms, local office supply retailers often sell quantities of W-2 and 1099 forms.

Speaking of Taxes...

St. Matthew was a despised tax collector named Levi before Christ called him to be a disciple (the Encyclopedia of World Biography said scholars suppose that Jesus renamed him Matthew, "gift of Yahweh."). Ancient Greece and Rome (edited by Carroll Moulton) gave an example of why tax collectors were hated in the Roman Empire: tax collectors in Alexandria would beat every member of a family too poor to pay the bill. If that form of "audit" did not work, the "delinquents" were tortured or murdered. How ironic that "tax" derives from the Latin verb, "to touch."

Sometimes it was the tax collectors who lost their heads. According to "A Brief History of Tax" (The Economist, Jan. 29, 2000), England's King Charles I knelt before the headsman in part because of his hefty tax policy. French Revolutionaries guillotined many a private tax collector of the Old Regime.

Income tax as we know it came in 1913, via the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Guide to American Law called it the "largest revenue generator in the Federal government." The familiar Form 1040 was issued in that first year.

Michael Barone, however, in "A Brief History of Taxes"(U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 12, 1994), said that "America's first income tax came in 1861, to help pay for the Civil War." Residents of the Union paid a tax of 3% on incomes of $800 a year (increased to 5% on incomes of over $10,000). Most Northerners did not earn enough to have to pay, and the South's capital was invested in land and slaves, instead of cash (therefore, no Confederate income tax).

The first internal revenue tax was much earlier, however. In Famous First Facts, Joseph Nathan Kane told of a tax on distilled spirits and carriages, effective July 1, 1791. The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 was the public's loudest outcry (soon silenced by President Washington's troops).

We can at least be thankful that tax season comes but once a year. Michael Barone wrote that in the Italian city-states of the 13th and 14th centuries, merchants paid property taxes whenever a war broke out - sometimes several times a year!