James DeMerritt braced himself against gusty winds yesterday while advertising for a tax preparation service in Casper, Wyo. He will be working a long shift today, up until midnight.

Isle tax procrastinators
gird for battle

For the two months, Kalihi resident Lani Kaleikini has been telling himself to fill out his federal tax return forms.


Curbside service for last-minute tax return mail will only be offered at the Downtown Post Office on Richards Street from 6 to 10 p.m. today.

Twenty-six post offices throughout the state will offer midnight postmarking of mail from specially marked collection boxes. All mail deposited in those boxes will receive April 15 postmarks.

The 26 locations:

» Oahu: Airport, Downtown, Ewa Beach, Haleiwa, Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapalama, Laie, Makiki, Wahiawa, Waialae-Kahala, Waianae, Waikiki and Waipahu
» Big Island: Hilo (Airport), Kailua-Kona and Kamuela
» Kauai: Lihue
» Lanai: Lanai City
» Maui: Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina (main), Makawao and Wailuku
» Molokai: Kaunakakai

"'I'll do it tomorrow.' I was saying that since February. Now it's tomorrow already," Kaleikini said.

Kaleikini and other residents streamed into the Internal Revenue Service office in the Prince Kuhio Federal Building yesterday seeking help from staff members or picking up forms to meet today's federal tax return deadline.

Kaleikini, an employment specialist at Alu Like Inc., picked up some 1040EZ forms from the shelves outside the office yesterday to work not only on his own tax returns, but also his wife's and father's.

"I'm going to be up all night," he said.

McCully resident Bradley Glanry, 21, sat on a concrete bench outside the IRS office reading tax forms that he was filling out on his own for the first time.

"It's pretty confusing," said Glanry, who normally goes to H&R Block to get his taxes prepared.

He said he plans to file for an extension. The deadline for those who filled out an extension application is Aug. 15.

Though millions have turned to the Internet to file their federal tax returns electronically, some residents said they either experienced computer problems this year or are content with the conventional way of filling out and mailing paper forms.

"I don't depend on computers -- too much room for error," said Aina Haina resident Joe Lalenos.

According to the Associated Press, the Internal Revenue Service said Hawaii ranks third lowest in the nation, at 37.3 percent, in filing tax returns electronically.

IRS spokeswoman Jean Carl said there is still a lot of fear and insecurity among people filing their tax returns electronically.

"It's an extremely safe and secure system," Carl said. She noted that errors are detected immediately when filing tax returns electronically.

With electronic filing, refunds are returned in 10 days compared with six weeks by mail, Carl said.

Kaleikini said he filed his taxes electronically last year but experienced technical problems with his computer this year.

Internal Revenue Service

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