Monday was the deadline to file taxes

Kenneth Butschek talks about people waiting until the last minute to turn in their taxes.
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A warm breeze blew into Liberty Tax Services as Walter and Sharon Green walked through the doors.

Monday was tax deadline day, and the Nordheim couple, who clutched a handful of paperwork, were there to file theirs.

"We're procrastinators. It's something we don't look forward to doing, so we wait," Sharon Green said with a shrug, while her husband noted his frustration with the government was another reason they put it off.

The Greens weren't alone. Many Crossroads residents waited until the last minute to send off their taxes.

Annette Becton dropped her taxes off to be prepared more than a week ago, but returned Monday to sign forms and finish the process.

The Victoria resident said she was pleasantly surprised to find she would receive a return, and said she planned to use the money for home renovations and repairs.

This year was especially busy at Liberty Tax Services, said Kenneth Butschek, who owns the business with his wife, Theresa Butschek.

The IRS was closed Friday, the traditional filing day, he said. For many people, that meant an invitation to put off doing their returns just that much longer.

"We've gotten so many calls from people saying, 'We're on our way, how late are you open?'" he said Monday afternoon. "This morning alone, we've probably had 15 or 20 business owners call to file extensions."

He attributed much of the procrastination to today's economy. The longer people put off filing, the longer until they have to pay whatever is owed.

Butschek noted it's still important to file and pay on time. Otherwise, filers face "Draconian" penalties, both for not filing and for late payments.

Business also remained steady at H&R Block Monday, as the business's 11 tax preparers worked with the flow of customers.

It's typically the people who owe money who wait until the end, said Abraham Sierra, an H&R Block transmitter who said he filed last-minute, too.

"We get pretty busy in January when people are just getting their W-2s, and it slows down in the middle of the season," he said. "In April, it picks up again."

Sierra said the employees are used to busy seasons and typically don't get flustered.

"We're just one big happy family," he said. "We deal with our things and talk amongst each other. It helps it get along better that way."

Tax drop-offs also continued at Victoria's Main Street Post Office, where a sign perched against a blue mailbox said, "Drop your IRS forms here."

While some cars pulled to a stop and dropped returns off, Rhonda Garza climbed out of her SUV to do her work inside.

Garza, who owns Rayco Roofing, said she always waits until the deadline to file, mainly because she owes money.

"My taxes have actually been done for a while," she said. "I started in January and did a little bit here and there. But I figure, why mail my money off to the IRS before I have to?"

The post office collected mail through midnight and stamped everything with an April 18 postmark. The longtime tradition draws people from all through the region, said Ken Epley, the Victoria postmaster.

As for the Greens, the duo owed money last year, but said they weren't sure exactly what the case would be this time around. Regardless, Sharon Green said she was relieved to get it over with.

"My stomach's killing me," she said. "I've been nervous."