(MONTGOMERY, AL) - With the deadline for filing income tax returns rapidly approaching, the U. S. Postal Service is bracing itself for the annual onslaught of last-minute tax filers.
"Mailers will have until midnight on Tuesday, April 15th to have their tax returns postmarked. That's when you can count on all roads leading to the post office. Since we're predicting heavy tax related traffic in the vicinity of the main post office again this year, we've taken our usual extra precautions to alleviate some of that congestion", said Montgomery Postmaster Teresa Welch.
Postal customers can easily avoid a trip to the main post office by mailing their returns or extension requests early in the day at any of the post offices, stations, branches or collection boxes throughout the great Montgomery area. Postmaster Welch emphasized, however, that tax filers should double-check the pickup schedule if they elect to use a streetside collection box to ensure their tax documents will be collected and postmarked before the deadline.
To offer additional service to customers, Teresa announced that the window service at the General Mail Facility located at 6701 Winton Blount Blvd. will remain open until 8:00 p.m. (Normal closing time is 6:00 p.m.) However, mail may be deposited until midnight at this location only and will receive the April 1th postmark.
After 8:00 p.m. on April 15th, Customers will be able to access the Automated Postal Center (APC) at the General Mail Facility. The APC provides quick, easy, and convenient access for postal products and services, such as Delivery Confirmation or Certified Mail, Return Receipt and make stamp purchases. Using credit and debit cards, the APC enables customers to weigh and mail letters and parcels and purchase stamps. It also dispenses postage in any amount for Express Mail®, Priority Mail®, First-Class Mail®, and Parcel Post® services.
Teresa also added that Saturday, April 12th is predicted to be heavy as well. She reminds residents that the window service at the General Mail Facility closes at noon on Saturday. There are three additional stations which normally provide window service on Saturday. They are the Cloverland Station located at 4365 S COURT ST; South Station located at 2837 E. SOUTH BLVD; and Shakespeare Station located at 2500 EASTERN BLVD. The hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Teresa also advised that on the night of April 15th traffic flow will change. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Winton Blount Blvd between Brown Springs and Taylor Roads will be one way, east to west. All traffic to Winton Blount Boulevard will enter from Taylor Road going to Brown Springs Road. Traffic in the left lane can only turn left and traffic in the right lane can only turn right.
"This certainly can be a hectic time," Teresa said, "and in the hustle and bustle of completing and signing forms, it's easy to overlook the simple things. Try to mail as early in the day as possible. Make certain your return has the proper amount of postage affixed. This is especially true if you are filing extra forms or schedules this year. Tax agencies will not pay postage due, so short-paid tax filings must be returned to you for additional postage. Ordinarily that means you'll miss the deadline."
Ms. Welch said the Montgomery post office expects to receive over 100,000 additional pieces of mail on "tax night" this year and an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 cars will travel on Winton Blount Blvd. between 6:00 p.m. and midnight.
Additionally, while electronic filing has in come cases reduced the number of tax returns that are mailed, we have been advised that the local IRS is expecting a significant increase in paper filing this year due to the stimulus check. The elderly and low income that do not normally file will have to file this year to receive the stimulus check.
Welch assures the community that each and every tax filing will receive an official April 15th postmark if it is properly prepared and deposited by the designated cutoff time.