Tax Day 2013: Last minute tips; few post offices open late

12:46 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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The IRS reports that about 77% of tax returns last year were filed electronically and that this year the majority of people have already filed.

As a result, the following two post offices will be the only ones open late on Monday, April 15.

Cleveland Main Post Office - 2400 Orange Ave --

Open until 10 p.m. At about 3 p.m., the traffic flow in the customer parking will be reversed to accommodate the anticipated increased customer volume.

Curbside collectors will be working until 10 p.m. to accept prepared returns with postage already affixed.

Akron Main Post Office - 675 Wolf Ledges Parkway -

Open until 7 p.m. Customers who mail their returns on April 15 should check with their local Post Office or read the posted times on the collection box to make sure that their tax return will be collected and postmarked before the deadline.

Also, any letters or packages weighing 13 ounces or more must be brought to a Post Office and handed to a postal clerk at the window.

The Internal Revenue Service will accept returns sent via Express Mail or with Delivery Confirmation for those customers who would like verification that their return was delivered.

The IRS accepts the postmark on the envelope as proof of timely filing. As a result, there is not significant enough need for most area Post Offices to remain open beyond normal business hours.

Now, before you even get to rushing towards the nearest open post office, know this.

If you make a mistake on your tax return, it usually takes the IRS longer to process it. The IRS may have to contact you about that mistake before your return is processed.

This will delay the receipt of your tax refund. The IRS reminds filers that e-filing their tax return greatly lowers the chance of errors.

In fact, taxpayers are about twenty times more likely to make a mistake on their return if they file a paper return instead of e-filing their return.

Here are eight common errors to avoid:

  • Wrong or missing Social Security numbers. Be sure you enter SSNs for yourself and others on your tax return exactly as they are on the Social Security cards.
  • Names wrong or misspelled. Be sure you enter names of all individuals on your tax return exactly as they are on their Social Security cards.
  • Filing status errors. Choose the right filing status. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, to help you choose the right one. E-filing your tax return will also help you choose the right filing status.
  • Math mistakes. If you file a paper tax return, double check the math. If you e-file, the software does the math for you. For example, if your Social Security benefits are taxable, check to ensure you figured the taxable portion booklet carefully.
  • Errors in figuring credits, deductions. Take your time and read the instructions in your tax booklet carefully. Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. For example, if you are age 65 or older or blind check to make sure you claim the correct, larger standard deduction amount.
  • Wrong bank account numbers. Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Make sure you enter your bank routing and account numbers correctly.
  • Forms not signed, dated. An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check - it's invalid. Remember both spouses must sign a joint return.
  • Electronic signature errors. If you e-file your tax return, you will sign the return electronically using a Personal Identification Number. For security purposes, the software will ask you to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2011 federal tax return. Do not use the AGI amount from an amended 2011 return or an AGI provided to you if the IRS corrected your return. You may also use last year's PIN if you e-filed last year and remember your PIN.


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