As today's midnight deadline to file federal and state taxes creeps closer, procrastinators should be warned there are fewer post offices extending their evening hours for the day because of the increasing number of people filing online.
The main Black Avenue post office in Pleasanton, which for years stayed open late for filers, will close at 6 p.m. Its branch in Hacienda Business Park will close at 5 p.m. as usual.
A number of Bay Area post offices also will be open for an extra hour or two, but only two will be open until midnight this year, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman, Augustine Ruiz Jr.
"Four years ago, we probably had close to a dozen offices open until midnight," said Ruiz.
The offices open until midnight are the Airport Station at 660 West Field Road in San Francisco, and the office on 1675 Seventh St. in Oakland.
According to IRS spokesman Larry Wright, online filing is up 13 percent nationwide compared to last year, and 14 percent in California, as of
a week ago.
Wright added that online filing is up in California in part because professional tax filers have to file electronically according to a new state law enacted last year.
Ruiz said that the cutbacks on extended hours for post offices on tax day have nothing to do with the economic state of the Postal Service.
"Of course we'd like everybody to use the post office to file their taxes," Ruiz said. "But reality is reality."