By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - If you're waiting to mail your taxes until Tuesday you're going to want to make sure you get to the post office earlier than you might expect.
The Omaha post office is changing the way they handle tax night.
The post office doors downtown lock at 6pm every night and it'll be that way Tuesday night as well.
Previously on tax night the post office stayed open until midnight, but this year that's not the case, basically all the offices around town are going to close at regular time.
It's tax time. That means long lines at the post office. For those planning ahead though, they don't have to wait as long. "I wanted to beat the rush and it's the first time I've owed money to the federal government so I just wanted to get here and get it taken care of," Jim Wiskus said.
Jeff Mikewski said he's looking forward to paying the government. Typically he waits until the last minute to send off his taxes, but this year he's ahead of schedule. "Amazing, usually I'm here in the drive thru the next day but one day early is pretty nice."
In previous years, taxpayers that waited until the last minute found themselves rushing to the post office before midnight on April 15th. "It used to be a party, in other words, the media would be out here, we'd have vendors handing out Tums and thousand dollar candy bars and things like that and it was almost a circus, which is sad because it really shouldn't be because it's not," Roger Humphries said.
"I can remember times in the past when there was a guy in the middle of the street out here and traffic going both ways dropping envelopes off," Wiskus said.
But because of e-filing, less people are mailing their taxes. So this year, the Omaha post office said it didn't want to pay staff to stay late and have no customers show up, so it will not have extended hours on tax night. "The need to have extra offices open and all that personnel available just isn't there so obviously it's an economical move for the postal service. It's not needed."
"I'm sure some people are going to be pretty stressed out about it. I feel bad for them but it's all the more reason to get them done early," Mikewski said.
There is one exemption, the main post office at 11th and Farnam will collect mail up until midnight. So for all those folks out there who wait until the last minute, they will be able to give you a postmark of the 15th as long as you get it there before midnight
Tax preparers said to be sure to have stamps available and put more postage on it than you expect. The IRS will not pay postage due, instead it will get returned to you and it will be considered late.
If you do miss the deadline to file, tax preparers said you should still get in your forms as soon as possible. They say there's a bigger penalty for not filing then there is for not paying, so if you owe tax and you can't afford to pay, don't not file, because it's going to cost you more money if you just forget about it.
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