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Tax deadline passes

April 17, 2001

Tax deadline passes



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Tax deadlinePhoto: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

A steady stream of last-minute tax filers hurried to beat the clock Monday to ensure their state and federal forms were mailed before the extended April 16 deadline.

Glenda Myers dropped off her taxes at the Hagerstown Post Office Monday at around 8:30 p.m.

She called late filing "a family tradition," related to the fact she often owes money instead of getting a refund.

"I want to hang on to my money as long as I can," said Myers of Hagerstown.

Sherrill Schultz said he filed on Monday night because of delays in getting child-care information needed to complete his forms.

"In years past I've owed, but this year I'm getting money back," said Schultz of Hagerstown.

He said he plans to use his refund to pay bills.

To accommodate the tax procrastinators, Postmaster Keith Guerrin had employees posted outside to collect drive-by mail from motorists and kept two counter windows open until midnight.

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Lines of customers filled the post office lobby and wrapped around to the area near the post office boxes throughout the day, he said.

The flow of customers was slow but steady from around 6 p.m., he said.

Hagerstown postal workers were busy Monday but not as busy as last year, said Guerrin.

He said he thought some weren't aware the tax deadline had been extended for one day because the traditional tax filing deadline of April 15 fell on a Sunday this year, he said.

Guerrin anticipated people would be dropping off their tax returns right up until midnight.

"As long as they get it in by midnight we guarantee" the IRS will get it, said Guerrin.

Mike Shoop of Hagerstown said he mailed his return months ago but made a special stop at the Hagerstown Post Office Monday to drop off his daughter's taxes.

Joanna Channing drove from her home in Waynesboro, Pa., to mail her taxes in Hagerstown because her local post office didn't have late hours.

She owes the government money this year and filed late because she had someone prepare her taxes for her, she said.

Postal worker Ann Frizzell spent her Monday night shift standing on West Franklin Street, collecting envelopes containing tax forms from motorists as they drove up.

"We'll be here until midnight and when midnight comes that's it," said Frizzell Monday evening.

She and another worker hand-stamped and sorted the mail by location.

Some late filers were worried their tax forms wouldn't get to the IRS on time even if they delivered it to the post office by midnight, said Frizzell.

They would wait and "want to see you stamp it," she said.

A lot of the tax mail she received was being sent by filers from other states, including Minnesota and Georgia, she said.

The stream of cars was steady from 6 p.m. but it still wasn't as busy as last year, she said.

A 13-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, Frizzell said even she has been a last-minute filer in the past.

"I thought I owed that year but I found out I didn't. I was late. Don't tell," she said.

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