Tax Time Has Changed, The Deadline Hasn’t

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SCRANTON -- The April 15 tax deadline is Tuesday and tax time certainly has changed over the years. Gone are the long lines at the post office, but even though most people e-file now, we found in Scranton that there are still plenty of procrastinators, and busy tax preparers.

Ann McDonough was just one of many customers showing up at the last minute to sign their tax returns prepared by Neil Trauma and the staff at Trauma and Associates in west Scranton.

"My father, God rest his soul, he used to say they're not going to get my money any sooner than they need it, so he used to do it at the last minute on the 15th."

Trauma and associates was a busy place on this day before the deadline at a time when taxpayers can do their own returns online, this business is still swamped with customers choosing the professionals.

"It's always easier when you have a great accountant, because then it's off your mind, you come in fill out your check, sign your name and they mail it for you," McDonough said.

"We're still seeing a lot, some of the simpler returns, people are doing online, they do themselves.  People have businesses, a lot of people are hesitant, they still want a professional to look at it," said Neil Trauma.

But even those who have the experts do their returns now have them filed electronically. Gone are the days of long lines at the post office, and few post offices are open late hours anymore for people to make sure they get the April 15 postmark.

Just to show how times have changed, 10 years ago, most people mailed their returns, 36 percent of taxpayers e-filed. Last year, 82 percent filed their returns online.

But what hasn't changed is that Uncle Sam wants his money. No matter how the returns get done, the Deadline is April 15.

At Trauma and Associates, that means the grind is almost over.

"We've been working seven days a week. We're officially open until 8 o'clock at night, but I'm here till 9, 9:30 at night. I'm in the office before 7 in the morning."

Neil Trauma reminds taxpayers even if you are filing an extension because you need more time, you must pay an estimate of what you owe tomorrow.

And if you mail returns, the postal service says watch pick up times closely on mailboxes, since most post offices aren't open late.