If you're still working on your federal taxes, you can meet that all important April 17th deadline with the help of the post office, but don't expect them to pull an all-nighter.
Texan Veterans Military Post Office at 7231 FM 1960 W in Humble will be the last to close at 10pm on tax night and will be the best bet for last-minute customers who need to purchase stamps or special services.
The Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin in downtown Houston will close at 7pm on tax night and will be the next best choice. They also offer a self service kiosk for last-minute customers who need to purchase stamps or special services.
The Greater Houston area has 51 locations that offer Self Service Mailing Centers which can accommodate most mailing needs. Collection boxes (Blue Boxes) and Post Office lobby drops at all other Post Offices will be collected only at their regular posted times on April 17, 2012. Tax mail with correct postage deposited in those designated boxes and slots by stated cut off times will receive April 17 postmarks.
The IRS expects the total number of individual tax returns, both electronic and paper, to total about 141 million this year, and for e-file returns to exceed last year's record high of 100 million.
According to the IRS, 20 to 25 percent of all taxpayers file in the final two weeks of the tax season. Due to the declining numbers of citizens who submit hard-copy tax returns by mail, the Postal Service no longer provides curbside service to last minute filers at 401 Franklin collection boxes.
The Postal Service provides the following reminders regarding the mailing of tax returns: Not all boxes will be collected late - If you are mailing your return in a blue collection box or a drop slot at the post office, be sure to check the schedule for the last collection time. Deposited after the last collection time will NOT receive April 17 postmarks. Beat the rush, mail early - Mail your tax returns early in the day. Post Offices typically become congested during lunch time and in the late afternoon and evening on the Tax Day deadline. Ensure proper postage - Be sure to check that adequate postage is applied to your tax return. First-Class postage for a one-ounce letter is 44 cents. Large envelopes and items weighing more than one ounce or greater than ¼-inch thick require additional postage. Check with a postal clerk to determine correct postage, or check the Postal Service web site for a postage rate calculator. Tax agencies do not accept postage due mail. Tax returns bearing insufficient postage will be returned-meaning taxpayers may be penalized for filing late tax returns. Proof of mailing/delivery - Mailers seeking proof of mailing and delivery should request "Certified Mail with Return Receipt" when mailing tax returns. Ensure proper addressing - Use pre-addressed labels where possible. Write clearly. Take special care to ensure that handwritten envelopes are legible. Include a return address. Make sure that bulky envelopes are securely sealed. Heavy packages require personal drop off - Mail with postage paid by postage stamps (as opposed to postage meter strips) that weighs more than 13 ounces must be presented in person to a clerk at a Post Office. Returns meeting this description that are deposited in collection boxes will be returned to their senders. Tax forms not available at Post Offices - Post Offices do not carry tax forms. Suggestion: Check out the IRS's web site for downloadable forms.