At long last, tax day is here
Although the e-filing has cut down on the crowds, marketers and protesters still observe the day.
By Christian Zappone, staff writer

NEW YORK ( - Papa John's is offering pizzas for $10.40. Staples has copy machines located on street corners. Activists are picketing at the post office.

Tax day is here and although e-filing has cut down on the number of people lining up at post offices across the country, the deadline has lost none of its impact for citizens of a nation where tax protesting has a longer history than public education (remember the Boston Tea Party?).

A tax preparer assists customers in an H&R Block office in Des Plaines, Illinois.
A tax preparer assists customers in an H&R Block office in Des Plaines, Illinois.
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Some 74 million taxpayers out of 135 million - or nearly 55% - are expected to e-file this year, according to the IRS. That's up from 51% last year.

If you need a lot of extra time to file, you can request an automatic 6-month extension. Keep in mind, though, when you're granted an extension, it's just an extension to file. It's not an extension to make payments.

So if you owe money to the IRS, you'll need to send payment along with your request for an extension. Otherwise, you will be subject to interest and penalties on the amount owed.

There are also some exceptions to the traditional April 15th Deadline, which fell on a Saturday this year.

Filers in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia have until April 18th because the IRS processing center serving those states is located in Massachusetts, which will be observing the state holiday, Patriot's Day, on Monday.

Along the Gulf Coast, taxpayers in Louisiana and Mississippi's hardest hit areas have had their deadline automatically extended by the IRS until Aug. 28th. The agency has made similar provisions for evacuees filing from the places they've relocated to across the country.

A group called Harlem Grandmothers Against the War will picket the IRS building in that storied neighborhood in New York City, Monday, before joining with the New York Chapter of Grandmothers Against the War to protest in front of New York's central post office in midtown. The group has plans for similar events across the country.

Vinie Burrows of Harlem Grandmothers Against the War said the group is protesting because it's "unconscionable that our tax dollars are going to the invasion and destruction of Iraq while we have so many needs here in Harlem and all the Harlems of the country."

Even corporate marketing specials are adapting to the times.

Papa John's is offering online customers large pizzas at the "less taxing" price of $10.40.

And Staples said it has copiers and attendants stationed outside post offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Well aware of the growing popularity of e-filing, the office supply retailer "stresses the importance of keeping hard copies of important documents."


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