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Last Minute Tax Filers Flood Post Offices and Tax Agencies

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CLARKSBURG -

Monday was the last day to file 2012 State and Federal Income Tax Returns. As a result, post offices and tax preparation services were both popular places.

Post offices on Emily Drive and West Pike Street in Clarksburg had lines all day, and Liberty Tax Service had steady customers throughout the day.

"Today is a great day if you're a tax preparer, you will stay busy nonstop from morning until night. We have every one of our tax preparers on call today. We said, 'Be ready, stand by the phone and be ready,'" said Connie Stemple, manager of the Liberty Tax Service on West Pike Street.

It wasn't just Monday that Liberty was busy; Stemple said it had steady business this tax season.

"We were really surprised with how well we did do with the economy going on around us. But taxes are taxes, they are what they are and you have to file," said Stemple.

A few years ago, some local post office locations would stay open late to allow last minute filers to send in their payments or extension papers. This year, none of the post office locations in West Virginia stayed open later than normal business hours.

About 94 million Americans have already submitted their tax returns, 90 percent of them did it electronically.

Stemple said this hasn't hurt Liberty's business.

"It probably affects us a little bit, but Liberty Tax we have our own online service also, so it really doesn't affect us one way or the other. Five years ago, many people did not do their taxes online themselves, now it's a common day thing," Stemple said.

Traffic was steady in and out of the post office locations on both Emily Drive and West Pike Street. Rebecca Deem filed her taxes just before the West Pike Street location closed.

"We usually wait because we typically have to pay, and if I'm going to pay, I'm going to wait until the last minute to file it. They don't need my money any sooner than necessary," said Deem, a Clarksburg resident.

Many people were sending in extension forms, Stemple said there is one thing to remember about extensions.

"All you're extending is time. Payment, what you owe, you can not extend that at all, you owe what you owe," said Stemple.

Liberty Tax Service was open until midnight Monday, and taxes could be filed until midnight of Monday.