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Some find deadline taxing

April 18, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • Postal worker Robert Mattson makes the final pickup of mail at the blue dropboxes outside the Franklin Street office of the United States Postal Service in Hagerstown. Monday was the last day to file 2010 federal tax forms.
By Chris Tilley, Staff Photographer

With the final mail truck scheduled to leave downtown Hagerstown at 6 p.m. Monday, a few last-minute filers beat the clock to get their 2010 taxes in by the deadline.

The deadline to file income tax forms was Monday, due to a District of Columbia holiday that extended the usual April 15 deadline by a weekend, according to the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Some local taxpayers waited to the final day because they knew they would be cutting a check to the government.

Ken Joy, who works in Hagerstown, said he waited as long as he could to send his money to Uncle Sam.

Joy walked out of the Franklin Street office of the United States Postal Service in Hagerstown at about 10 minutes before the window service lobby closed at 5 p.m.

"I usually get money back, so I usually send it in earlier," he said. "But I did a lot of work on a 1099 (form), so I knew I would owe."

Eric Davis of Hagerstown was one of the last people to drop a tax filing in the row of blue boxes outside the downtown post office before the carrier emptied the boxes for the day.

Davis, who said he has not personally filed taxes in years because of a differing opinion on government, said he made the trip to the post office Monday to drop off a friend's taxes.

"I told her not to wait until the last minute," he said. "But I bet all across the (country) people were waiting."

Liberty Tax Service on Eastern Boulevard served about 20 clients Monday who were trying to meet or file to extend the deadline, said Office Manager David Gladfelter.

The office's big rush of last-minute filers came on Friday, the day traditionally known as tax day, he said.

"A lot of people did not realize that the 18th was the last day to file," he said.

Gladfelter said he saw a number of returns this year where people owed money to the government because not enough was held out of their paychecks.

"What I saw was a lot of employers not taking out the right exemptions," he said.

Every taxpayer should check each January that their employer is taking out the proper amount, he said.

People receiving tax returns are paying too much to the government through the year, and those owing each April are paying too little, he said.

"The perfect return is a zero return, no refund, nothing owed," he said.

Not everyone who waited until the last minute to file their taxes waited because they owed the government.

David Tuell of Hagerstown and Jamie Wilson of Falling Waters, W.Va., waited to drop their filings off until about 5 p.m. Monday.

"I'm a natural procrastinator is all," Tuell said.

"This is the first time I went to the last day," Wilson said. "I was going to file them when I was in South Carolina — that's where I'm from — but I didn't get to. I just procrastinated I guess."

Employees of the U.S. Postal Service in Hagerstown said the last truck to leave their office would pull out at 6 p.m.

By 5 p.m., carrier Robert Mattson had emptied the blue mailboxes out front.

Those who needed their return postmarked April 18 needed to drop it in the office mail slot by 5:30 p.m., employees said.

While the Franklin Street office closed its window service lobby at 5 p.m., other offices in Maryland stayed open later.

A1 services at 467 W. Patrick Street in Frederick, Md. accepted tax returns until 9 p.m., said Yvette Singh, communications coordinator for the Baltimore District of the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Post Office at 900 E. Fayette St. in Baltimore accepted taxes until midnight.

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