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Tax Day Still Too Soon for Dawdlers

April 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

Spotted two extra days by a friendly calendar, procrastinating taxpayers scrambled Monday to file their returns on time -- and grudgingly give up whatever they owed.

In Little Rock, Ark., Ronald Edwards said he had been clinging as long as possible to the $2,500 he owed to the state and federal governments. He finally gave in on the last day.

"If I had a refund, you wouldn't see me here right now," said Edwards, a 49-year-old computer programmer. "If I'm going to pay, I'm not doing it until the last second."

Charles Lane, 67, a retired postal worker from Philadelphia, had the same idea. He was one of a steady stream of filers headed to the post office. "I wasn't getting any money back," Lane said. "I was in no hurry."

With April 15 falling on a Saturday this year, taxpayers nationwide had at least until Monday to file their returns.

Ralph Savage, 63, of Philadelphia started thinking about doing his taxes in March. But as always, he said, he found himself running to the post office on the last day. "My nickname is Mr. Procrastinator," Savage said.

A Massachusetts holiday observed Monday gave some taxpayers an automatic extension. Patriots Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the beginning of the Revolutionary War. That meant taxpayers in states that file with the Internal Revenue Service office in Andover, Mass. -- Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia -- had until today.

In a promotion by the New York Mets, people lined up at Shea Stadium before a game with the Atlanta Braves to have their taxes filed for free. Fans could drop off their W-2 forms and come back later to pick up their completed tax return.

"It's either that or file for an extension," Met fan Paul Borzell said.

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