Hundreds of taxpayers line up in front of IRB to file after bureau's holiday hiatus – Virgin Islands Daily News

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Partly cloudy skies. Low 77F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph..
Partly cloudy skies. Low 77F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: September 24, 2022 @ 5:12 pm
St. Croix residents line up in front of the Estate Diamond office of the Internal Revenue Bureau on Tuesday, the final day to file tax returns.

St. Croix residents line up in front of the Estate Diamond office of the Internal Revenue Bureau on Tuesday, the final day to file tax returns.
ST. CROIX — On Tuesday morning, the last day to file income taxes territorywide, a line of more than 100 residents, some with folded arms and sour expressions, wove around the parking lot and the side of the building housing the Internal Revenue Bureau in Estate Diamond, St. Croix.
On St. Thomas, residents also stood in long lines at offices in Nisky Center and Red Hook.
Though atypical for any entity to close during its busiest season, the bureau informed the public two weeks ago it wouldn’t be open due to the five-day Easter holiday, which left scores of taxpayers scrambling to file on the last day before the tax deadline to avoid the failure to pay penalty.
Even with the announcement of the closure, more than 20 people in the winding line in front of St. Croix’s bureau on Tuesday morning told The Daily News they had come out last Thursday, Friday, and Monday to file only to find the doors to be closed.
To mitigate some of the wait time and allow for those to file before or after their workday, the bureau adjusted hours in St. Croix and St. Thomas, opening one hour earlier at 7 a.m., and stayed open four hours later until 9 last night. On St. John, however, residents had to contend with the normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The additional hours did little to alleviate the frustration of the scores of people standing in the hot sun clutching stacks of wind-wrinkled papers. During the time The Daily News was on location, three separate outburst occurred with individuals taking to yelling, cursing, and leaving — presumably without filing as they had intended.
Leonor Gillette said she “would have loved to come earlier, had they been opened — and my accountant gave me my papers earlier” but alas she was stuck in line. “I don’t even want to think about how long the line will take, or I will start crying.”
Being pelted by the relentless rays of Caribbean sunshine, Gillette said, “They should have a line for senior citizens. I’m about to fall down from being so tired just standing here. I even brought an umbrella with me for the sun, but with so much wind I can’t deal with it.”
Gillette agreed, like several others in line, that she didn’t experience the wait times seen this tax season. Her sweet demeanor and sunny disposition did little to hide her discontentment as those around her questioned why they should have to stand in line to pay taxes at all.
“We should really be able to do this all online,” Gillette said. “I think that’s the real thing. We should be able to do it online and pay online. Everyone should be able to do that. You can do it in the states so why can’t we do it here? They really need to get up to speed with the times and technology,” Gillette said.
Craning her neck to peek around the back of the building and setting her sights on the far back of the line, Gillette shook her head in dismay as she was firmly in the middle of the line, but some residents like Dave Bolin weren’t so lucky. He stood ready to file an extension and was dead last, but came armed with a sense of humor.
“Man is this the line for Epcot or Disney,” Bolin jested after sharing how most of his paperwork had gotten lost in the mail and while he was “sure the IRS has it, who knows if the IRB has it. So that’s why I am here.”
Not sure how long the line would take, he said he preemptively, “ordered Chicken Shack so hopefully it will be here by noon” he said of the slow-roasted chicken at a popular LaReine eatery.
— Contact Bethaney Lee at 340-714-9104 or email blee@dailynews.vi.

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