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Lines Not Too Taxing at Post Office

Potomac Falls resident Therese Bracken waited until Tax Day to file her taxes for a reason.

"I didn't want to file early because we owe a balance," said Bracken on Tuesday, at 12 p.m., as she waited in line with two other customers at the Potomac Falls Branch Post Office. She was on her lunch break. "I thought at lunch time, it would be bad."

Marva Robinson, sales associate, said the post office had been busier in the morning. "We got our line down. That's why our line looks good now," she said.

But within 10 minutes, the line extended a third of the way to the door.

"I owe money, and I'm going to hold onto it as long as I can," said Alan Gardner, a Maryland resident who works in Sterling and came to the post office during his lunch break.

Round Hill resident Donald Sengpiehl, also on lunch break, said his reasons for filing on Tax Day had to do with a complicated filing form this year. "It took more time than I allotted. I had to take time off work yesterday to get it done," he said.

FOR THREE TO FOUR days prior, post office business increased, culminating on April 15 with the combination of regular business and tax filings, said acting postmaster Rick Kohne, manager of customer service in Fairfax. The Manassas resident was transferred to Potomac Falls in mid-February to serve as acting postmaster while Jim Farley is on a detail in the Winchester area.

"Today is when it really hit, which is normal," Kohne said. "We've been moving [customers] through very quickly, but there's been lines all day. We are trying to keep the wait to five minutes and have been successful with that most of the day."

The Potomac Falls Branch was scheduled to remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 12 midnight at full staff with three sales associates at each window. The Sterling Main Post Office and the Dulles Finance Unit also were scheduled to stay open until midnight.

"I don't anticipate it being that busy tonight," said Kohne on Tuesday afternoon. "We take it as it comes. It has been very steady all day. People seem to be in extremely good spirits. Maybe it's the weather."

Sterling resident Pradeep Sethi said he always files his taxes early, but he was waiting in line anyway to file taxes for a friend. "I always do that because I don't like taking tensions to the last minute," he said.

But Susan Rice of Leesburg said: "I owed Virginia, and they get their money last. Whoever you owe can wait until the last minute."