NORFOLK, Va. — If you waited until April 15 to file your taxes, you are in the company of millions of other Americans as well.
Whether you choose to file your returns yourself, online, in-person with a tax preparer, or through the mail, we have you covered on all you need to know.
Trained tax professionals will prepare your taxes for free through a program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
Terry Reed is a site coordinator for VITA and says it's important to have all of your important info ready to go when filing your taxes in person.
"When you go to have your taxes done, whether it's here or somewhere else, have all your documents," Reed urged. "And it's important that you bring in hard copies. Don't bring in something on your phone or on your laptop. Most sites need to have the paper copies."
CLICK HERE to find a VITA site near you.
MAILING YOUR TAX RETURN
Post offices will be open normal business hours Monday, and it’s very important to check the pickup times on the collection boxes.
To make sure you get the April 15 postmark, deposit your tax returns before the last scheduled pick-up time.
Make sure your return address is on the package and you have the correct postage as well. If you are unsure, you can always go inside and talk with a clerk. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Also, tax forms are no longer available at post offices. Check at local libraries or online to get copies.
Reed also says filing online can be a quick and easy option for people filing taxes. He recommends sites like MyFreeTaxes.com.
FILING FOR AN EXTENSION
If you know you won't be able to file on April 15 and make it on time, you can file for an extension. That extension will be good until Oct. 15 of this year.
You can e-file your extension form for free using Free File on the IRS website.
However, keep in mind that being granted an extension doesn't mean you get out of paying your taxes to the IRS.
"You can get hit with fees, interest charges, and it can make that tax bill go up exponentially," Reed noted. "So it's better to file and send what you can-- because the IRS sees that as a good faith effort."
STILL SOME TIME FOR STATE TAXES
While most people file their state and federal taxes at the same time, you do have a bit of breathing room for state taxes if you're a Virginia resident.
The deadline to file your state tax return in the Commonwealth is Wednesday, May 1. If you can't file by that deadline, Virginia allows an automatic 6-month extension to file your return (November 1 for most people). No application is required. You still need to pay any taxes owed on time to avoid additional penalties and interest.
State tax returns for North Carolina residents, on the other hand, falls on April 15, just like federal taxes. More information is available on the NC Department of Revenue's website.