Juneau preps for tax deadline

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2001

The Internal Revenue Service is offering help at the Federal Building until 6:30 tonight for people struggling with tax returns.

The agency will staff the local office, Room 859-D, to help with basic, simple returns - nothing complex, said Judy Monahan, IRS spokeswoman.

Most people who contact the agency this time of year want to know how to file for an extension - and the local office can help with that, Monahan said. Taxpayers can extend the deadline to file returns to Aug. 15. However, they must file for the extension by midnight, and an extension doesn't postpone payment, she said. People who owe money still must estimate the amount and pay it by today.

"You'd make a good-faith effort of what you think you might owe, if you owe," Monahan said.

Taxpayers also can get information by calling an IRS help line at (800) 829-1040 or through the agency's Internet site at www.irs.gov.

Post offices will close at regular times - the Federal Building Post Office at 5 p.m., Douglas at 5:30, and the Mendenhall and Auke Bay offices at 6 p.m., said Ruth Vincent, manager of customer services.

However, residents still can get their tax returns postmarked after-hours at the Mendenhall Post Office by ringing the buzzer at the parcel pickup door to the left of the main entrance. Personnel will be there until midnight to accept mail, Vincent said.

Taxpayers running late also may drop returns in the mail boxes outside the Federal Building. Last pickup for those boxes is midnight, Vincent said. The postal service will collect mail from all other boxes according to the schedules posted on them.

There is one other option. A radio station and the Travelodge Lounge are sponsoring a tax relief party at the airport area hotel. People may drop off their tax returns at the Travelodge from 8:30 to 11:30, and Mail Boxes, Etc. will deliver them to the Mendenhall Post Office for postmark before midnight.

"Rather than turning in our taxes being a negative thing, we're trying to turn it into something positive," said Jane Walters of Mail Boxes, Etc.

Kathy Dye can be reached at kdye@juneauempire.com.

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