Don’t fear the deadline

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2004

For those who have not yet filed their taxes, the rush is on to beat the clock. At the stroke of midnight, the deadline to file officially comes to an end.

Except for the lucky few who managed to get an extension, taxpayers who waited until the last minute may find themselves standing in line at the accountant’s office.

It happens every year, say accountants, hurried stragglers always come in seeking help on the day taxes are due.

Email newsletter signup

In fact, these past few weeks have been very busy for bookkeepers, accountants, and postal workers.

Jerri Serman, of Furnis Vaughan & Company, said she and her co-workers have practically moved into the office.

“Things have been extremely busy. Three of our people stayed here until 11:30 Tuesday night,” Serman said. “Another person was here until one in the morning.”

At the Jeff Davis Avenue H&R Block, Patricia Hall said things have been hectic, but they are seeing the average amount of customers expected for this time of year.

The same goes for pretty much all certified public accountant offices around town, who often plan on working long hours as the deadline approaches.

“We are staying pretty busy,” said Tiffany Edwards of James E. Siddens CPA Professional Corporation. “We get quite a few people coming in at the last minute.”

Special accommodations are even being made at the Selma branch of the U.S. Post Office to help those waiting until today to file their taxes.

James Howard, Selma’s Postmaster, says he plans to have extra employees working at the front desk to prevent long lines, but the office will close at its usual time.

“Normally, mail put in the collection box after hours is postmarked for the next day,” Howard said. “On Thursday, we are extending that time to midnight. Any mail put in the collection box at the front of the post office before midnight will be dated the 15th.”

Howard noted that extension is only for the collection box outside the Selma post office. Mail placed in the other collection boxes around the city will need to be sent by at least 5 p.m. to be dated April 15.

“Tax night is usually our busiest time of the year,” Howard said. “More people are filing online now, but I can’t say how that will affect us until tomorrow.”

Howard said the last mail truck headed for Montgomery will leave the Selma post office around 1:30 a.m.