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The tax deadline cometh, but not as quickly this year

April 11, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

TRI-STATE

Procrastinators, listen up. You have three extra days to file your income tax returns.

Thanks to a legal holiday in Massachusetts, Maryland taxpayers have until April 18 to file their federal and state paperwork.

The traditional April 15 deadline falls on Saturday this year, which normally calls for a Monday deadline, said Kevin P. Kane, spokesman for the Comptroller of Maryland's Office.

But Maryland taxpayers mail their federal income tax returns to an IRS office in Massachusetts, where April 17 is Patriots Day, a state holiday, Kane said.

By law, if a tax deadline falls on a legal holiday, taxpayers have until the next business day to file. Kane said that for the sake of simplicity, Marylanders also will have until April 18 to file their state returns.

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Patriots Day, celebrated on the third Monday in April, commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, and Paul Revere's famous midnight ride.

Residents in New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, D.C., also will enjoy an extended deadline for federal returns. Those regions also mail returns to the Massachusetts office.

Residents in Pennsylvania and West Virginia must file by April 17.

This year, there is a six-month deadline extension for anyone who requests one, according to federal and state tax officials. In the past, people could request a four-month extension, and if that wasn't enough time, they would have to ask for an additional two-month extension.

Kane said the state received nearly 8 percent of the 2.65 million state income tax returns after the deadline last tax season.

In Washington County, U.S. Postal Service officials are bracing for a rush of last-minute filers. Last year, about 200 people showed up with tax returns on the day of the deadline, said Bruce Rice, supervisor of customer service for the U.S. Postal Service.

"We're anticipating a lot of people," Rice said. "But with the deadline extension, it may not be so bad."

Hagerstown postal workers will be stationed outside of buildings Tuesday collecting returns that are stamped and ready to go, Rice said.

The Hagerstown offices will be the only Washington County locations with extended hours Tuesday, Hagerstown Postmaster Richard Sheffield said.

The post offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sheffield said.

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