Taxes due today
April 14, 2009
By Jim Feehan
Issaquah post office closes at 5 p.m.
Procrastinating tax filers from Issaquah will have a longer drive than anticipated this year.
With the U.S. Postal Service struggling financially, the Issaquah post office on Gilman Boulevard will not offer extended hours for collection of tax returns April 15, said U.S. Postal spokesman Ernie Swanson.
“We’ll no longer offer the luxury of late-night collection April 15 in Issaquah,” he said.Due to budget cuts, extended hours collection by postal clerks will take place at the Everett and Tacoma processing centers and at the Riverton Heights postal station, a half-mile north of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he said. The Riverton Heights post office is at 15250 32nd Ave. S. in Seatac.
The postal service is in the midst of broad cost-cutting efforts. It lost $2.8 billion last year and expects a larger loss this year due to the anemic economy, Swanson said.
Postmaster General John Potter told Congress last month that the service is considering cutting back deliveries to five days a week. It already is planning to offer early retirement to 150,000 workers, eliminating 1,400 management positions and closing six of 80 district offices.
Tax filers need to have their return in by 6 p.m. April 15 to have their returns postmarked that day, Swanson said.
In the past, the post office was open after hours with postal clerks outside taking returns well into the wee hours.
In recent years, more people file their returns electronically, avoiding last minute dashes to the post office on tax day, Swanson said.
Debbie Seeley, of Seeley and Associates, an Issaquah tax return preparation business, said she’s seeing an increase in people filing at the last moment.
“People are procrastinating, because they’re either working a lot more hours because of the economy, or they’re laid off and searching for a job, so filing their return is a low priority,” she said.
She encourages tax filers to not fear tax time and to consult an accountant or tax return specialist if they need help.
“There are a lot of options available if you owe taxes, such as an extension,” she said. “It’s better to know than to avoid it.”
Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.