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Post offices not open late for Valley tax returns

April 18, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Procrastinators need not apply to live in the Imperial Valley.

At least that's true when it comes to mailing tax returns, as local post offices do not stay open late to accommodate last-minute filers.

Emily McGrath, Brawley post office officer in charge, said people who watch or listen to the news are unfortunately misled into thinking all post offices will be open late on tax day.

"That's not the case," she said this morning.

McGrath said people can call 1-800-ASK-USPS and find out information such as where the closest post office that will be open late on tax day is located.


She said large cities with processing centers, such as San Bernardino, remain open late on tax day.

"I can understand why there would be confusion, especially if you come from a very large town," McGrath said, adding that she is not aware that the Brawley post office has ever remained open late for accepting tax returns.

She also said during business hours people can request that their mail receive a cancellation at the counter.

McGrath further said all efforts were made to ensure that all mail was loaded onto the truck that takes mail to the processing center in San Bernardino, where the mail is postmarked, but that the truck leaves about 5 p.m.

The El Centro post office was not open late either.

"No, I wasn't open," said El Centro Postmaster Pete Race.

Race said that just before 5 p.m. all of the customers in line were moved inside, the doors were closed and customers were allowed to finish their business.

Race also said he is unaware if the El Centro post office has ever stayed open late to accommodate late filers.

He said if there were to be extended hours, he would notify the media.

Calexico Postmaster Mike Burk closed at the regular hour also.

"We weren't open late," he said this morning, adding that the post office has been open late in the past on tax day but no one showed up. "It doesn't make any sense to keep the doors open if nobody's coming."

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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