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Snail-Mail Tax Filers: Try Finding a Late-Night Post Office!

The tax deadline is midnight tonight, and the majority of Americans who now file electronically, need not worry. But, for those that don’t, try finding a post office that stays open late.

In fact, only certain offices in major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles will keep their doors open to accommodate last-minute filers.

As more Americans file their tax returns electronically, fewer post offices are staying open later on April 15 for snail-mail filers.
As more Americans file their tax returns electronically, fewer post offices are staying open later on April 15 for snail-mail filers. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP - Getty Images

“Tax returns have declined dramatically over the past 10 years, and there simply is no longer much of a demand for many of our post offices to be open until midnight,” said Sue Brennan, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 85 percent of Americans now file returns online, leaving only 15 percent who rely solely on old-fashioned snail mail.

If you’re a procrastinator owed a refund -- and about three-fourths of filers get refunds --- April 15 isn’t much of a deadline at all. Penalties are only incurred if you owe tax. But, it’s still a good idea to file for an extension, just in case you end up being wrong and actually owe money

So far this tax season, about 12 million taxpayers have requested extensions and by midnight tonight, that number is expected to jump dramatically.

Denise Bain, a licensed tax preparer at Citrin Cooperman says traffic is at its heaviest during the last few days before the deadline. “I have people coming in last-minute all the time, a majority of them will be going on extension, period,” she said.

These taxpayers still must pay at least 90 percent of their tax bill by Tuesday to avoid a penalty.

The IRS expected to receive 35 million returns in the last week before the deadline, most of which come with payments instead of refund requests.