Time is Ticking on Tax Returns

April 17, 2006 – Posted at 4:12 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- It maybe the deadline for filing, but you can get an automatic six-month extension with a form 4868, available on the IRS website. In fact, last week it was the most-requested form.

If the government owes you money, you have a window of three years to file. If you owe the government money and you don't file a return or an extension, the IRS can charge you interest. They can also impose a penalty by as much as 50% and not filling your income taxes is considered a criminal offense.

So with all that at stake, why wait until the last minute?

"This is actually the first year I had ever owed, so that's why we waited until the end, otherwise we would have filed right away," said Bob Surdyk as he dropped his tax return into the mail slot.

"It's one of those things that I should have already done and haven't got them done so here I am just like everybody else...trying not to get in trouble!" laughed Deniece Snell as she waited her turn in line.

If you are headed to the post office on Monday, expect to wait.

"A lot of people have been coming in to do their taxes at the last minute," said Jonesboro Post Master John Confer, "I think we are really expecting it to be heavier as the day goes through."

Bill Smith carried the mail for 26 years and he knows how busy tax day is for the postal service.

"We used to stand on the sidewalk at night, collecting the mail," remembered Smith, "People would drive by and drop it into the barrel. But those days are gone."

The Post Office on Race Street in Jonesboro will be open until midnight Monday night, so for all of those procrastinators waiting to get that postmark, the clock is ticking