American taxpayers get a 24-hour break this year.
Because the upcoming April 15 falls on a Sunday, Monday, April 16, is the last day for filing tax returns for the year 2000.
Although the Payson post office won't be open any later than usual Monday, all tax returns dropped into the blue collection boxes in front of the post office by midnight will be canceled with an April 16 postmark, Payson's postmaster Kathy Almendarez said.
"This applies only to the boxes in front of the post office," she said.
"I would recommend that people get their tax returns weighed prior to mailing, to make sure they have adequate postage," she added. "I would also recommend that, if they want a receipt of mailing, they should send their tax-return by certified return receipt, so they will have documentation that it was sent in time. If that's what they choose to do, it would sure help us to fill out the forms prior to getting to the window clerk. That would save everybody a lot of time. If we have to start filling out all the forms once they reach the window, that adds so many more minutes to the wait of the next person in line."
To accommodate the anticipated 11th-hour rush, Almendarez said, "I am scheduling extra (window clerks) for Saturday and Monday. All four windows will be open on Monday, for sure."
The Payson post office will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. The Pine post office will be open normal business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday.
"But people should come early," Pine-Strawberry postmaster Mike McManus said. "We've been really busy."
For more information, call the Payson post office at 474-2972 or the Pine post office at 476-3275.
Free tax assistance
For those Rim country residents whose heads threaten to explode at the mere thought of filling out all those forms, free tax assistance will be available April 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on the southwest corner of the Beeline Highway and Airport Road. This service is available to anyone, of any age, in low to moderate income ranges.
Electronic filing and preparation will be available for both federal and state returns in this program sponsored by AARP Tax-Aide in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service.
AARP Tax-Aide availability which had been previously scheduled for April 14 at the Payson Public Library has been canceled.
For more information on AARP Tax-Aide, call Joan Stephens at 472-6229.