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Rush is on to get taxes sent to IRS
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Mary Willis was up late Thursday night making sure that all of her federal tax forms were properly filled out – partially to avoid getting penalized and partially to make sure that she owed the amount of money to Uncle Sam that she calculated.

Willis was part of the stream of people that made their way the drop-boxes at the Manteca Post Office Friday morning – officially known around the country as tax day – to get her forms postmarked before the extended April 18 deadline on Monday. The extension is due to the fact Friday was Emancipation Day is a holiday in Washington, D.C., where the IRS is headquartered.

“I figured that I’ve waited this long to get it mailed out, partially because I didn’t want to give them my money until I absolutely have to, so I might as well send it in today instead of waiting until the absolute last minute” Willis said – noting that the stop at the post office was just one of several errands she had to run Friday morning. “It’s not my favorite day of the year, but it’s something that you have to learn to live with.”

The three-day extension filers are treated to this year is thanks to the observance of Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. – which falls on April 15 this year and prompted the Internal Revenue Service to push the deadline to Monday, April 18 at midnight. Those who request extensions will have until October 17 to file their 2010 tax returns.

Charles Davis was at the post office Friday morning to see if his refund check had come in the day before. The local father with children in college had to wait until the end of February before he could file his tax returns to allow for the computer systems to reset because of expired tax provisions and introduced legislation that affected elements like the Higher Education Deduction that Davis was filing for.

“It’s not here yet, but that’s kind of what I expected. It’s a waiting game,” Davis said. “I see a lot of people coming down and dropping the envelopes into the boxes today, and I’d like to be walking out of here with the envelope from the United States Treasury.”

Tax preparation businesses have been reaching out to attract customers for months. Liberty Tax Service on North Main Street has had a sign-holder dressed like the Statue of Liberty perched on the corner of Louise Avenue and Main Street – Manteca’s busiest intersection – since February. H&R Block commercials have been in regular rotation for the same time frame.

Chris Jacobi, who has already received his refund, says he’s glad that the entire process is already behind him.

“I knew I could use the money so I was quick to get everything in,” he said. “I’ve got friends that are stressing about it right now, and some are even trying to get extensions because they put it off for so long. I’m glad that I’m not there.”