Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Last-minute dash taxing

People stream to Post Office with forms, excuses

BY Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Stamps that didn't stick, vanishing forms and new marriages.

        Those were just some of the reasons people cited Monday night for waiting until the last minute to file their taxes.

        “I freaked out Friday when I tried to file over the phone, only to discover I couldn't because I just got married and my husband's name wasn't on some form,” said Lien Yoder, 22, of downtown Cincinnati. “I had to download new forms from the Internet and teach myself how to fill them out. It took about 45 minutes.”

        Ms. Yoder was among a steady stream of people who traveled to Cincinnati's Dalton Avenue Post Office on Monday evening in the waning hours of tax-filing time.

        The Internal Revenue Service extended the traditional deadline by two days because April 15 fell on the weekend.

        The postal service kept several branches open until midnight.

        Probably the No. 1 reason people gave for waiting late to file Monday was that they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service.

        “I don't want to give the IRS money before I have to,” said Vivian Caudill of Madisonville, “especially if I don't have the money.”

        The Dalton Avenue branch provided curbside drop-off service to accommodate late filers. Service windows there were also open to midnight.

        And a person dressed in a baker's costume handed out free red, white and blue bagels.

        “The last time we did this, we handed out 2,000 in just three hours,” said Lou Rios, operating partner for Bruegger's Bagels. “And people are kind of used to it now. They kind of expect it.”


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