Tax Filing Day Goes Digital - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tax Filing Day Goes Digital

GEORGETOWN, De. - Across the country, people faced the deadline Tuesday to file their taxes. However, the scene was vastly different from that of just a decade or two in the past. At Post Offices across the nation, the mad-rush that defined this day in the past has all but disappeared, being replaced by an electronic process.

At the Georgetown Post Office, WBOC caught up with Kerry Dunning, as she dropped off some mail. She recalled how it used to be at the post office on filing day.

"The line would be out the door," she said. "Everybody would be hanging out filing their taxes."

Now in the lobby of the Georgetown office, it's a different story.

"Empty," she said with a laugh. "There's nobody here.  

This trend expands far past just Southern Delaware. The IRS has predicted that 85 percent of the tax filing nationwide will be done online by the end of 2014. This will mean far less work for Post Office workers such as Chris Andrews, located in Georgetown. Andrews started 19 years earlier exactly from Tuesday, starting on Filing Day in 1995. 

"We used to have food and beverages," he said. "Lines out of the door. Had extended hours until midnight. So it's no where near the event it used to be."

Al Yentch was happy not to see any crowds when he went to drop off his last-minute tax return.

"Because now I was in there no more than 7 minutes," he said. "They have more people working, but it's pretty quick access, a lot of people do online, file online."

On Tuesday, the mailing center was closed at 5:00 p.m. as usual, marking a staunch difference from how it once was. It's another story at more digital-oriented companies like H&R Block. At the Georgetown office of H&R Block, Owner Emily Spicer brought out food, drinks, and pajamas for an all-day tax filing event. She said the digital mechanisms have made the entire process easier. 

"I know when I first started here, I counted one time," she said referring to the amount of signatures she was forced to make. "For each tax return, I had to sign 21 times... So you can imagine the clients had to do that too."

Now that number has dropped to just one or two signatures, shortening the process. She said the response time from the IRS has also become much faster in this technological era. 

"Now when we send it from out desks," she said. "With our clients sitting right beside us - in 5 minutes or less the IRS will accept it." 

There is one exception to this trend towards digital filing. For all people who want to file for an extension to do their taxes, they need to send it in by mail. 
There is only one Post Office location in Delaware that is remaining open until midnight Tuesday, located in Wilmington. 
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