Almost too fast for the eye to see, letters whizzed by - 500 per minute - on Michigan's tax operations center conveyer belt in Dimondale.
Workers stand by making sure tax returns are boxed and shelved correctly after machines slice open the envelopes. More than 60,000 refunds will be processed each day from now until June 1, 2003 - when officials say all returns will be completely processed if they were filed on time.
The post office will make about three mail deliveries carrying nearly 200,000 returns each day for the next several days. Officials estimate more than one million people waited until the deadline to send in their returns.
Data entry operators sort and enter information from the tax returns into a computer, and once everything is processed a refund check is usually issued within four days.
Officials estimate about 150,000 people will ask for an extension on their taxes this year.