Do you remember when the Rapid City Post Office was a hive of evening activity every April 15? That was the day that you had to have your tax return postmarked — not filed or paid, just postmarked.

Late into the night, procrastinating taxpayers streamed into the post office with their returns, waiting in line for Postal Service staffers to hand-cancel each IRS envelope — so you could sleep soundly that night knowing you made the deadline.┬áThe postal workers even handed out coffee and cookies to the last-minute filers.

These days, of course, electronic filing has removed much of the drama — public drama, anyway — from the April 15 process of filing tax returns. And now, the IRS has instituted a new web-based system that lets you pay tax bills or make estimated tax payments directly from a checking or savings account.

The system is called IRS Direct Pay, explains Kevin Sickels, CPA and Partner with Ketel Thorstenson LLP, the accounting firm with offices in Rapid City, Spearfish, Custer and Williston.

Sickels said the website is easy to use, and taxpayers receive immediate confirmation that a payment has been submitted. Your bank account information is not retained in IRS systems after a payment is made.

The only downside? You have to buy your own cookies on April 15.

Click here to see the entire article by Sickels.