Taxes, Retirement & Insurance

Increasingly, more people are filing federal and state taxes online.  Listed below are the resources you need for filing your taxes.  Please note that Oakland Public Library also works in partnership with AARP to provide free tax filing during tax season.  More information is included at the end of the Taxes section.

Links to retirement and insurance sites are also provided.


The IRS site is where you will find information, including forms and instructions, for filing federal taxes.  California tax information is located on the Franchise Tax Board site.  The forms you need for filing your current taxes are on these two sites.  The Main Library and many of the branches also have print copies of the forms and instructions.  Some forms from 1994 to the present are also located on the IRS site.  The Franchise Tax Board has forms from 2008 to the present on their site.  If you need tax forms from previous years and cannot locate them on the site, the Main Library keeps forms and instructions from the past five years for California and federal tax filing.

Internal Revenue Service

To find tax forms for the current year:

  • Click on I Need to File My Tax Return on the upper left side of the page.  You will see options for filing your taxes on line. 
  • If you wish to file online, read through your options carefully. 
  • To continue on to forms, select Forms and Publications under IRS Resources on the left side of the page. 

To locate forms from a previous year:

  • Scroll down to Download Forms and Publications By.
  • Then click on Previous Years and select the forms you need.

Franchise Tax Board

This is the site for filing California taxes.  On the home page you will see a link for filing free online.  If you wish to file online, click on Calfile under Online Services.  Remember to read all the accompanying information to make sure you qualify.  You will also see a link for ReadyReturn next to the CalFile link.  This is a free service in which your last year’s return and information from your previous W2 form are used to pre-fill a California state tax return.  Again, read the accompanying information careful to determine if you qualify.

You will find California state tax forms under Top Forms.  Scroll down and click on the More Forms box if you don’t find the forms you need.  Use the drop down menus to select forms from 2008 to the present.

AARP Free Tax Service at Oakland Public Library

During tax season OPL partners with the American Association of Retired Person to provide free tax assistance.  Trained volunteers help library patrons fill out and file forms at the Main Library and several branches.  Make sure to check our website at for dates, times, and locations.

Retirement and Insurance


Medicare is health insurance for people 65 and over and people under 65 with certain disabilities.  This site has the information you need for applying for Medicare and managing your benefits.  The New To Medicare? link on the home page explains how Medicare works and allows you to apply online.

Under the Medicare Basics tab on the top of the page you will find an explanation of Medicare benefits, including Parts A-D and information explaining Medicare claims.

If you are new to Medicare, a good place to start is with the Medicare Plan Finder tutorial.  To view the tutorial, click on Compare Drug and Health Plans under Find Plans.  Click on Watch Medicare Plan Finder Online Demo located on the right side of the page.  Click on the arrow in the center of the screen to begin watching the tutorial.

Medicaid & CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program)

Medicaid provides insurance coverage for people with lower incomes, older people, people with disabilities and some families and children.  This website gives basic information about the program in general since eligibility rules vary by state. 


This is the Medicaid site for California.  To apply for Medi-Cal and/or to learn more about the program, click on Medi-Cal information for Individuals and Families on the left side of the page or for individuals enter this URL: 

United States Social Security Administration

Through this site you can apply for Social Security and disability benefits, apply for survivor’s benefits, determine if you qualify for benefits, appeal a decision, and estimate your future benefits. 

To apply for benefits:

  • Click on the Retirement tab at the top of the page.
  • Then click on the Apply For Retirement box and answer the questions provided to begin the application process. 
  • You will also find a video on this page which provides information to help you complete your application. 

To apply for Disability or Survivors Benefits, follow the instructions above, clicking on the appropriate tab.  Each section includes videos to guide you through the application process.