A decades-long tradition of post offices staying open until midnight on tax deadline day has ended. As a courtesy, many post offices traditionally stayed open until midnight so last-minute tax-filers could get their returns postmarked by deadline.
In an effort to cut costs, the United States Postal Service is closing its post offices at their regular times this April 15th. Louisville spokesperson David Walton says not as many people file by mail anymore.
“A lot of people remember the days when, I mean, tax day! C’mon! It used to be a real spectacle. There were just lines of people out in front of the post office, we had police directing traffic,” says Walton. “But those days – they’ve become a thing of the past.”
The postal service has been trying to navigate through tough financial times. The weak economy, paired with a freefall in first-class mail usage, has led to a predicted six-billion dollar deficit for the agency.
“It really helps just not being open those extra hours, and it really does help streamline our operations and improve efficiency,” says Walton. “We’ve done that in the past as a courtesy to customers, but this year we’ll just be having our normal operations on April 15th.”
Walton says as the number of people who e-file their taxes goes up, the number of people standing in line at the post office goes down. The IRS says it’s already seen a twenty-percent increase in e-filing this year.