Sunday is the deadline for Alaskans to apply for this year's Permanent Fund Dividend, Alaska's annual payout to residents from interest earned on the state's invested oil wealth.
Online applications, which the state's Permanent Fund Division recommends, can be submitted at www.pfd.state.ak.us until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Because the deadline falls on a weekend, paper applications must be hand-delivered at a Permanent Fund Division office by 4:30 p.m. Friday. Mailed applications should be postmarked by Saturday, as most post offices will be closed Sunday.
Fund managers plan to announce the amount of the 2013 dividend in late September. Eligible applicants can expect to receive the annual payout Oct. 3.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 520,000 people had applied for this year's dividend.
In 2012, nearly 20 percent of total applications came in during the first week of January, when the application period begins, according to the Permanent Fund Division's annual report. The week with the next-most applications -- about 13 percent of the total -- was the one leading to the March 31 filing deadline, the report says.
It's typical to have a flurry of applications in early January, followed by a lull, then an increase in the number of applications in the days leading up to the deadline, said Dan DeBartolo, director of the Permanent Fund Division.
"We see it every year," he said. "What you'll find is you have this surge in the population that absolutely wants to get their application in when the season first opens."
As the end of March approaches, last-minute applications flood in, DeBartolo said. "All of a sudden something starts clicking in people's heads, where they're like, 'Whoa. I need to get on this program here and file for the dividend.' "
Alaskans also still have the opportunity to give all or part of their dividend to Alaska non-profit organizations through the Pick.Click.Give. program. Instructions can be found on the application. About 23,000 dividend recipients chose to donate $2.2 million to 400 groups last year.
Reach Casey Grove at email@example.com or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE