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Too taxing

Some postal employees avoid filing online

Woman places envelope in wall-mounted mail slot
Asset Performance and Accountability Manager Leslie Lissimore simulates mailing a tax return at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, last week. This year’s filing deadline is April 17.

Like she has done since she was 18, Leslie Lissimore calculated her taxes by hand this year and mailed them to the IRS.

It’s a matter of pride for Lissimore, asset performance and accountability manager at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I’m doing my small part to provide revenue for the Postal Service,” she said.

Lissimore isn’t alone: Although most Americans file online now, many postal workers still rely on the U.S. Mail to put their returns in the hands of Uncle Sam. This year’s filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17.

“It’s what I have been doing since I was 19 years old — and I’m 50-something now,” said Paula Logue, Baltimore District’s retail manager.

Logue calculates her taxes by hand, too.

“It’s all about seeing my totals on the paper and me handling the paper, physically signing it, folding it in such a way that it will fit inside the envelope, and having the pleasure of placing it in the blue box.”

Some employees say they’ve tried online filing, only to discover the process was more cumbersome than expected.

William Ball, a custodian in Kalispell, MT, became frustrated by the hurdles designed to protect his online tax information.

“All the security questions that I have to answer before they will accept my submission makes it unbearably difficult,” he said.

Forks of Salmon, CA, Postmaster Jessie Allen also used a software program to prepare her returns for a couple of years — until her tax situation became complicated and she began mailing them to an accountant. She also mails the completed returns to the IRS.

Of course, if you’re a last-minute filer like Allen, this isn’t without drawbacks.

“I just mailed the tax information to my accountant last week. She’ll charge me dearly,” Allen said with a laugh.

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