The Internet is apparently killing another long-standing tradition. In the days before e-mail, post offices used to stay open until midnight on April 15th to take in loads of tax returns. No more. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Watkins says only a couple of post offices across Iowa will be open after dark tonight.Watkins says “Certainly fewer than we have in the past will be open later this evening. We found through e-filing, over the years, that the volume of folks who have been coming into major city post offices…has diminished.” Just ten years ago, Watkins says most post offices would pull all-nighters on federal tax deadline night, but he says so few people use that option now, it’s hardly worth it.Watkins says “It’s still significant, but the added expense of paying overtime to our employees became an issue and one that we’ve been looking at over the past several years and this is a trend that we’ve seen coming for quite some time.” Watkins says some post offices will still honor the tradition of staying open late tonight but he recommends Iowans call their local postmaster to make sure of their post office’s hours. The I-R-S says of all the federal tax returns submitted by Iowans so far this year, 70-percent of them were electronically filed. The national rate is 63-percent. Iowa’s rate of e-filers is up four-percent from last year while the national rate is up eight-percent.
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