Post office to stay open late tax day
By By Arthur McLean Editor
For everyone procrastinating on their taxes, time has almost run out.
Tax Day, April 15 is Thursday, and Atmore's tax preparers say they're feeling the crunch of late filers.
Jackie Darby with H&R Block said business has been brisk this week, but sporadic over the past few weeks. "We've been busy all tax season," she said.
In fact, many tax preparers in town were so busy, they couldn't come to the phone for an interview.
Bobby Davis of Robert R. Davis &Co. said most of his clients are small businesses but they're still busy.
"At this point, we're filing extensions for a lot of our clients," Davis said. "We plan it out, so we're not running pell mell at this point, but we've been very busy. We're right on track with where we need to be."
Davis' company doesn't provide the same instant refund services of other tax preparers, which he said lessens the number of walk-ins looking for quick tax help.
"If we do get someone who's really in a bind, we'll try to get them in, but most of our clients are happy filing an extension. Some like to get all their documents together after April," he said.
Tax season usually begins around the third week of January, but business increases dramatically during the last week of February, heading into March.
Most tax preparers contacted by the Atmore Advance said people anticipating refunds usually file much earlier than those who expect they'll have to pay when they file.
To help the late filers, the Atmore Post Office will be open until 4 p.m. Thursday, four hours later than its usual Thursday closing time.
Postmaster Mitchell Soutullo said, "What we want to do is help both the businesses and residents of the community anyway we can during this stressful time. One of the best ways we feel that we can do that is to extend our hours so that the community has as much opportunity as possible to meet Thursday's deadline."
Soutullo said the tax rush is still a rush, but more and more people are e-filing. "During this time we do see an increase in business, but with the availability of sending your taxes in electronic format, we don't experience as much volume as in previous years."
Soutullo promised postal customers more announcements in the future.
"We are trying to attend to the needs of our customers. This is only one way we can help, but there others. Soon we are planning to incorporate other services and make them available to the community, which I hope to make known to the public through the Atmore Advance."