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Taxpayers scramble to file taxes by deadline

April 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Taxpayers were given an extra three days to file their federal taxes, but some people are still scrambling to get it done by Monday night's deadline.

State taxes were due on Friday, but taxpayers who file in California on Monday will not be penalized.

"I'm a last-minute kind of guy," said Kevin Russell of Hollywood, who was filing his taxes at an H&R Block.

Russell said he had planned to file on Friday, but when he found out he could file on Monday, he put it off again.

Clients came in early at the H&R Block in Hollywood, which opened at 3:30 a.m. Workers said they're expecting a lot of taxpayers throughout the day.

"The last day is always one of the busiest days," said Eileen Brown. "People who have complex-type tax returns wait until the last minute, maybe not because they want to procrastinate, because they need extra paperwork ... to make sure they're claiming every deduction and credit."

The last-minute filing could be blamed on the economy and taxpayers' financial situation changing. More things to consider means more paperwork and more time needed.

"Because of the economy, we've had so many life changes," said Rick Garcia of H&R Block.

Garcia said he has seen a lot of foreclosures and parents moving in with their adult children.

"Those are potential write-outs that people just aren't aware of," Garcia said.

Brown said some last-minute tips to lower your taxes are to contribute to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA) and to your health savings plan.

As Monday's tax filing deadline nears, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year.

The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

Post offices in Southern California that will be staying open late on tax day, April 18:

Airport Station
9029 Airport Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90009
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: midnight

Industry P&DC
15421 E. Gale Ave.
City of Industry CA 91715
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: 6 p.m.

Long Beach P&DC
2300 Redondo Ave.
Long Beach CA 90809
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: 7 p.m.

Los Angeles Post Office
7001 S. Central Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90001
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: 10 p.m.

Pasadena P&DC
600 Lincoln Ave.
Pasadena CA 91109
Mail collection: 10 p.m.
Retail service: 10 p.m.

Santa Ana P&DC
3101 W. Sunflower Ave.
Santa Ana CA 92799
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: 7 p.m.

Van Nuys Post Office
15701 Sherman Way
Van Nuys CA 91409
Mail collection: midnight
Retail service: midnight

B&B Pharmacy
Contact Postal Unit
18525 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92886
Mail collection: 10 p.m.
Retail service: 10 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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