Residents rush to get returns in on time

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brookhaven’s tax procrastinators are expected to line up at thepost office en masse today, as the April 15 deadline for submittingtax forms has arrived.

Keith Rushing, Brookhaven Post Office manager of customerservice, said approximately 70 percent of the mail going throughthe post office Monday was tax-related, with that percentageexpected to increase today.

“We’ve been lined up all day with people mailing their taxforms, and it will be worse (Tuesday),” Rushing said Monday.”Everyone has waited until the last minute and they’re trying tobeat that deadline.”

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Rushing said the tax deadline is the busiest time of the yearfor the post office.

He pointed out that post offices in larger cities will beextending their operating hours into the night to handle thelast-minute volume. The main post office in Jackson, he said, willremain open until 11 p.m.

Some of the larger cities’ post offices will also have directtrays behind the counter into which all tax-related mail will beplaced for direct shipment to the Internal Revenue Service and theMississippi Tax Commission, Rushing said.

Brookhaven, however, is not a large enough city to warrant extrahours at the post office or a direct mailing tray.

Tax-related mail sent through the Brookhaven Post Office will bemachine-sorted for delivery, dumped and grouped at the main hub inJackson. The local office will remain open through normal hourstoday.

Despite the heavy traffic, it’s just another day at the postoffice in Brookhaven.

“We’re just using our regular crew – we don’t have any extrapeople to bring on,” Rushing said. “What I’ve got is what I’ve got.But it’s not really a strain on us – we’re used to it.”

Not all tax filers will be using the mail, however.

Rushing said many people have chosen to do their taxes online,and those who are flocking to the post office at the last minuteare generally those who owe taxes. Others will choose directdelivery.

“On the deadline day, a lot of folks will drive their tax formsto Jackson and deliver them personally, just to make sure,” Rushingsaid. “Every year, people that have to pay more on their taxes waituntil the last minute. It’s just human nature I guess.”