The United States Postal Service will not be extending hours for Tax Day 2014. In the past years, the Post Office would extend its hours until midnight to ensure a postmark of April 15 for all tax returns. Now that many people are filing their taxes electronically, such as TurboTax, the USPS has decided not to extend hours.
“We really stopped extending hours at our postal locations because there really isn’t a need to any more,” said Elizabeth Najduch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service’s metropolitan Detroit region.
If you mail your taxes, the Postal Service urges taxpayers to make sure they have the correct office address and enough postage on their envelopes. They also urged everyone to mail their returns early in the day. Otherwise, the envelopes could be returned to the sender. People could also end up stuck in long lines.
If you fail to file federal and state tax returns by April 15, you will be subject to a late filing penalty. That fee can be 10 to 15 percent of your income tax returns.
Gus Ruiz with the U.S. Postal Service says so many taxpayers are filing electronically that this year there is no reason for post offices to stay open late.
“The IRS anticipates, I think, 148 million tax filings this year, of that 23 million will be paper so you’re looking at probably over 85 percent of all the tax filings in the country will be done electronically,” says Ruiz.
Jerry Innes, a partner at Innes & Lotito, P.C. says, “Filing electronically is beneficial to everyone except the postal office people. There are some matters that you still have to use the mail for, certified mail to get proof of delivery, but for the most part, everyone is making the move.”
If you’re a last-minute filer, be sure to get to the post office during regular hours and read the times on collection boxes.
Letters weighing 13 ounces or more must be handled by a postal clerk. Tax agencies do not pay postage that is due, so if postage comes up short, the letter will be returned to the sender.
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