Monday, April 16, 2001

Last-minute filers
push the envelope

The last chance for filing taxes
on time is tonight at midnight

After-hours mail drops

By B.J. Reyes

Although he did not get all the i's dotted and the t's crossed until yesterday morning, the important thing for Kainoa Thaxton was that he got his taxes done.

"Normally I get it done early," said Thaxton, 30, a doorman at the Ocean Club in Restaurant Row. "April 15 just kind of crept up."

Thaxton finished his taxes with a day to spare, and that still was earlier than a lot of people.

With the traditional tax deadline of April 15 falling yesterday on a Sunday, taxpayers have until tonight to file taxes. Post offices around the state and nationwide will accept mailings until midnight and still stamp them with an April 16 postmark.

And if you think you are the only one who waited until the last minute, take heart.

"Last year, we collected nearly 83,000 tax mailings on April 17, and we expect a little less this year," said Edward Broglio, Honolulu district manager for the U.S. Post Office. "The number of people who have to pay stays pretty constant, and there always are those who just choose to wait until the last day."

Like last year, when the April 15 deadline fell on a Saturday, taxpayers have some extra time over the weekend to complete their returns.

Post offices throughout the state will set up outside collection boxes for last-minute filers to drop off returns tonight.

Additionally, Internal Revenue Service offices in Hawaii will provide extended hours for taxpayers who would like in-person help. The IRS also provides online help and tax forms for download at its Web site,

With tonight's midnight deadline fast approaching, tax preparation services also braced for a surge in business.

Many businesses were open yesterday but did not see as much traffic as past years the day before the deadline, possibly because of the Easter holiday.

"I guess today is Easter, so not many people expect that we will be open," said Allen Kanno, an accountant at H & R Block Premium in Mililani. "We always see a rush of people on the last day.

"There's some people that are just hard core -- they want to do it on the last day, so they'll just walk in tomorrow (Monday). Some people are just committed to doing it on the last day."

The office is scheduled to be open until 9 tonight, but just as in years past, Kanno says he will be around as long as possible for clients who need help.

Last year, he was in the office almost until midnight.

Joseph A. Barrios, an accountant and tax specialist in Waipahu, said his office will be open until midnight.

He also expects business to pick up throughout the day, although he places priority on those who owe money.

"The ones that are paying are going to have to take care of that tomorrow," he said yesterday. "We're doing all right. We do expect quite a lot of people coming in (today)."

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Midnight tax drop

The deadline to file federal tax returns for 2000 is midnight. After normal business hours, tax-related mail deposited by midnight in the outside collection box at the following locations will receive an April 16 postmark:

>> Honolulu: Main post office, airport; Downtown, Hawaii Kai, Kapalama, Makiki, Waikiki and Waialae Kahala stations.

>> Rural Oahu: Ewa Beach, Haleiwa, Kaneohe, Kailua, Mililani, Wahiawa and Waianae post offices.

>> Big Island: Hilo, Kailua, Kona and Kamuela post offices.

>> Kauai: Lihue post office.

>> Lanai: Lanai City post office.

>> Maui: Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Makawao and Wailuku post offices.

>> Molokai: Kaunakakai post office.

IRS tax assistance

Internal Revenue Service offices in Hawaii also will provide extended hours from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for taxpayers who would like in-person assistance at the following locations:

>> Honolulu: PJKK Federal Building, 300 Ala Moana.

>> Hilo: 101 Aupuni St., Suite 228.

>> Wailuku: One Main Plaza Building, 2200 Main St., Suite 175.

The IRS also provides telephone assistance toll-free at (800) 829-1040. Online help and tax forms for download are available at

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