Tax Preparation and Credit Repair at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library

We’ve all heard Ben Franklin’s famous quote from 1789: “In this world nothing can be said for certain, except death and taxes.” While we can’t do much against the former, I’m happy to say the library is the place to go for tax relief in 2022!

If you’ve never heard of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, let me brighten up your tax season!

Founded in 1971, VITA is operated by the IRS, which requires rigorous tax law training for the thousands of volunteers who help prepare tax returns for millions of taxpayers each year. Through a partnership with Professor Jacob Peng, Head of the Accounting Department at Robert Morris University, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is pleased to offer free tax assistance appointments beginning in February.

How it works? First, make sure you qualify for the service. If you are filing as an individual, you qualify if your total income in 2021 was $38,000 or less (excluding Social Security). If you are filing jointly, your total household income should be $58,000 or less. There are a few other minor restrictions, but when you call for an appointment, we’ll walk you through to make sure you qualify. This is also when we will make sure you know all the documents you will need to bring.

When you call the library, you sign up for two 30-minute appointments. During the first appointment, you will meet with a tax preparer and answer any questions he or she asks you. Then the preparer will complete your tax return themselves and the following week you will return for your second appointment, where you will review, sign and submit your return – it’s as simple as that.

We have appointments available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from February 5 to April 9. To register, call the library at 412-276-3456. We look forward to hearing from you – appointments will fill up quickly!

Tax assistance isn’t the only free financial service we’re offering in February. On Thursday, February 24 at 7 p.m., Licensed Realtor Solomon Rivers is offering a course on Repairing Your Credit Score. Solomon will guide you through the world of credit repair, offering simple, actionable steps anyone can take to improve their credit. Your credit score can affect everything from credit cards to car loans to home mortgages – come find out how to make the most of it.

Finally, we describe the Carnegie Carnegie as “A library and so much more…”. I would be remiss if I did not mention a wonderful performance to come, a Presidents Day tradition for us. The Duquesne Wind Symphony, conducted by conductor James Gourlay, presents Lincoln Portrait at 7 p.m. on February 21. This orchestral classic is a true American original, composed by Aaron Copland and featuring oratory from some of Abraham Lincoln’s most powerful writings. Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti presents the oratory in this performance. Buy your tickets at www.CarnegieCarnegie.com – at just $15, you won’t want to miss what is sure to be a deeply moving experience.

Hope to see you here!

Walker Evans is the Library Director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall.

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