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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Warning, Procrastinator: Almost No Post Offices Open Late on Tax Day

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM

He can't save you now, tax procrastinator...
  • He can't save you now, tax procrastinator...
IRS statistics reveal 80 percent of returns have been e-filed this year.

In the good old days, folks who'd left their taxes until on or about April 15 could count on hordes of postal workers swarming the streets to grab the tax forms out of their hands before the ink had even dried on the Form-1040s.

Well, it appears living in the past was both cheaper and more convenient -- if you're a Luddite tax procrastinator. Postal service regional spokesman Augustine Ruiz, Jr. noted that San Francisco and the East Bay will have hardly any facilities open until midnight on Tax Day to accept returns from feverish taxpayers. City residents' only after-hours option this year are the massive postal complex at 1300 Evans -- which will accept mail up to 10 p.m. -- and the airport station, which is open until midnight. Why is this? The same reason the United States Postal Service is billions in the red in general: the Internet. "Procrastinators are now going online to do it," says Ruiz. "It's very cost-prohibitive for us to keep a lot of offices open late if there are a declining number of people coming in."

Statistics provided by the IRS amply prove that the tax-filer signing his or her forms, licking an envelope, and applying stamps is a member of a dying breed. Last year, 95 million  of the 141 million returns sent to the IRS were e-filed -- that's 67 percent. Through April 2, 2010, 71,628,000 of the 89,970,000 returns filed were done so electronically. That's 80 percent.

You can see the year-by-year ascendancy of the e-filers here; 2005 marked the first time more than 50 percent of returns were filed electronically.

"From 1990 to this year, it's grown every year," said IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino. When asked if he e-filed, Tulino immediately replied "Oh yeah, of course." 

Get with the times, tax day Luddites. Soon there'll be no late-night postal workers to save your rear end.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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