TRENTON — The digital age has displaced the tradition of the midnight dash to the post office on tax day.

There was a time that last-minute filers would come late on April 15 for a hand-stamped postmark to show they beat the midnight deadline. Many post offices created party atmospheres to make the wait in line go by faster -- and some kept their offices open until midnight or close to it.

"I do recall those times when offices were open late and some hosted events to help with customers’ experience," said Ray V. Daiutolo Sr., a spokesman for the USPS Southern New Jersey South Jersey and Philadelphia Districts.

Today, no New Jersey post office in South or Central Jersey will be open until midnight to hand stamp your return, according Daiutolo Sr. Procrastinators can file at self-serve facilities and get the April 15 postmark as long as their mail is in by the last collection time.

"As long as mail is deposited in the collection bin before the last collection time posted on that receptacle" it counts, according to Daiutolo.

A spokesperson for the northern New Jersey district did not yet return a message.

According to NJ.com offices in Basking Ridge, Bayonne, Colonia, Edgewater, Lake Hiawatha, Linden, Little Falls, Main Avenue Station in Clifton, Maplewood, Metuchen, Monroe, Montclair, Newark’s main post office, Parlin, Somerville, Tenafly, Warren (Somerset County), West Orange, Woodbridge, and Woodcliff Station in North Bergen are all normally open until 7 p.m.

The IRS said 90 percent of those who filed in 2018 did so electronically. By comparison, only 28 percent e-filed their return in 2000.

Some other tax filing tips from the USPS:

  • On April 15, mail early in the day at any Post Office, station, branch or collection box.
  • Post Office, Self-Service Kiosks and collection box location, hours, and pick-up time information is available at 1-800-ASK-USPS or online at usps.com
  • If depositing returns in a collection box on April 15, double-check the pick-up schedule on the label. To ensure getting the April 15th postmark, deposit returns before the last scheduled pick-up time.
  • Stamped packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented in person to a Post Office clerk to comply with FAA regulations.
  • Affix the appropriate postage, especially since the item may weigh more than an ounce. Have a postal sales and service associate weigh and rate the item for you.
  • Tax agencies will not pay postage due and your short-paid return will be returned to sender – and you may miss the deadline (tip: 5 pages equals approximately one ounce).
  • Furthermore, it is very important that your envelope has a return address. Short-paid items without a return address will be sent to the postal mail recovery office for determination of the sender, delaying its return.
  • The USPS highly recommends getting the security of proof of mailing and proof of delivery of your tax returns -- use certified mail service with a return receipt, plus the applicable postage.

Another tradition gone: Tax forms are no longer available at Post Offices. Check at local libraries or online at irs.gov.

Those needing filing extensions should go to the Free File link on IRS.gov and fill out the electronic version of Form 4868.

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