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State Offices Won't Stay Open For Last-Minute Tax Filers

The struggling economy has had an impact on tax preparation and filing in Kentucky.

Department of Revenue Manager of Training Gayle Fields says about 80% of Kentuckians have filed their returns early, many in anticipation of refunds. For the remaining 20 percent, Fields says state offices and phone lines that offer tax help will not be open outside of business hours.

“I’m sure it’s probably a reflection of budget issues because of course, we’re well-aware the state’s budget is not in good shape and it would be extra man hours to cover and pay for,” he says.

The offices are open from eight until five. Kentuckians can file their returns electronically through the Department of Revenue website.

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Post Offices Won't Stay Open Until Midnight On Tax Day

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.