Filing Taxes At Midnight

Posted: April 16, 2013 in Living
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tax by eric.louie
tax, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

By Eric Louie

Last night I was that guy dropping off my taxes at the post office open until midnight. A tradition every tax day, this time it was the Hunters Point post office where, with a half hour to spare, a small but steady stream passed through.

It was a chilly, windy night with workers taking envelopes from the curb under generator-powered lights. The line inside for people like me who had to calculate the postage was about a handful deep. I’ve done many news stories on the deadline filers, and figured I document taxes 2013 (for the 2012 year). I was going to do it myself, but when I told the folks what I was doing they graciously offered to help me out. Thanks to Mary for being in the photo!

No matter how many times I say I won’t, it’s a good bet that I’ll be at some post office on tax day. My first job was selling newspapers as an independent contractor, which means not having taxes taken out and owing the government money. So I was never in a rush to do them. This time I happened to be in San Francisco finishing them at my parents’. I’ve even filled out forms in the parking lot when I worked in Stockton. It’s not just the extended hour ones that I end up at. When I worked in Pleasanton I remember going there in the evening after work, probably because I finished it the night before and had to use the office printer.

Last year, actually a Tuesday the 17th because of the Emancipation Day holiday, I ended up going to the big facility in West Oakland. Occupy Oakland members and the post office union were demonstrating against cuts. There was about 100 people when I got there, and a bunch of food out. This was also around the height of clashes with police, and I was interested since this was a federal facility instead of city streets. It was peaceful. I was actually headed to the East Bay and thinking about going there this year, but they closed at 10 p.m. In related news, the Postal Service recently dropped its plan to end Saturday service after not getting Congress’ approval.

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