Tax Day: Post office bracing for long lines

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On this Tax Day 2014, postal officials are bracing for long lines. The IRS and the United Way are offering filing alternatives. The Better Business Bureau is urging taxpayers to protect their personal information from thieves.

The United States Postal Service announced no offices in the metro St. Louis area would extend hours for last-second filers. This could be a shock to some who are used to waiting in the long drive through the Main Post office in Downtown St. Louis, while workers collected tax returns until the midnight postmark deadline on April 15th.

The Internal Revenue Service announced about 90-percent of all returns received to date were filed electronically by early April 2014. So, officials offered their free tax online tax tool to last-minute filers.

Since the New Year, the United Way partnered with the Gateway Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition to offer free in-person tax help in both Missouri and Illinois. Taxpayers found help with their simple returns in churches, libraries, and community centers across the metro area. But on Tax Day, only a few locations would be open with just hours left before the deadline. Organizers expected those volunteers to be swamped. So, they offered their own free online tax preparation tool. Still Gateway EITC Coalition director Russ Signorino said it doesn’t matter if you file online or in-person, you need to be prepared.

”Make sure that you have everything that you need to get your return done. Make sure that you have all your 1099s. Make sure that you have your W2s. If you happen to be lucky enough today to get your taxes done, make sure you have your social security card. Make sure you have picture IDs.”

Chris Thetford of the Better Business Bureau urged filers to protect their personal information while filing online.

“Look at the URL bar and look for the letters “https” and look for the padlock to make sure you are on a secure site.”

He said his office has received complaints of people not getting their tax returns, because they had their identities stolen. Thetford also reminded taxpayers to stay vigilant once the make copies of their returns.

“Put them in a file cabinet or some other safe place, where not a lot of people can see your information.”

If you mail your taxes, the Postal Service urges taxpayers to make sure they have the correct office address and enough postage on their envelopes. They also urged everyone to mail their returns early in the day. Otherwise, the envelopes could be returned to the sender. People could also end up stuck in long lines.

For more information on post office hours, visit: USPS.com

For a checklist to make sure your return is postmarked by the deadline, visit:

USPS.com/Taxes

To prepare your taxes for free online with the IRS, visit:

IRS.gov/

To prepare your taxes for free online through the United Way, visit:

MyFreeTaxes.com

To check out tax preparers with the Better Business Bureau, visit:

BBB.org


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