You have until April 15 to file your 2018 federal tax returns without incurring a penalty. (Patch.com)
TAMPA BAY, FL — Tax day is here. You have until April 15 to file your 2018 federal tax returns without incurring a penalty from the Internal Revenue Service. Unlike previous years, when local holidays have pushed out the date and given taxpayers a little extra time to file, the 2019 date falls squarely on April 15. That’s today.
Since the deadline is here, the IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file their returns for a number of reasons. The IRS says electronically filing tax returns is secure, convenient and means refunds — for those lucky enough — will be delivered faster. The agency also notes that the e-file service can be used whether you owe money or are owed a refund.
For those who prefer to file their tax returns the old fashioned way and mail it to the IRS, the return must be postmarked by the filing date deadline.
The federal tax return filing deadline is April 15 and the extension deadline is October 15.
Statistics from the IRS show that through the end of March, the IRS has received 1.4 percent fewer returns than the previous year. The New York Times reported that the IRS expects to receive more than 14.6 million extension requests in 2019.
Taxpayers can fill out IRS form 4868 to get an automatic extension of time to file their returns. However, the IRS cautions that an extension to file does not mean an extension of time to pay any taxes owed.
According to the United States Postal Service, taxpayers should check the IRS website for where to mail a tax return. The destination and return address should be written clearly on the package. The USPS also says to ensure the right amount of postage is used or the package will be returned.
Some post offices have extended hours on tax day and offer late postmarking, the USPS says.
Tampa Bay residents can find a list of post office locations nearby by searching on the USPS website and calling a local post office to find out the hours for tax day. While searching on the USPS website, use the "refine search" option and narrow your search to 24-hour facilities or for post offices open after 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Debbie Fetterly of the Postal Service told Patch that it is important to note the pick-up schedules on the blue collection boxes.
"As long as they deposit per the schedule, their tax return will receive a 4/15 postmark," Fetterly added.
Anyone dropping off their return in person should make sure they hand it over only to a person with a postal photo ID, according to Fetterly.
Here’s a list of post office locations around Tampa Bay that offer hours past 5 p.m.
Tampa Main Office (Airport) | 3501 Bessie Coleman Blvd. | 10 p.m. Tampa Carrollwood |12651 N Dale Mabry Hwy. | 7 p.m.St. Petersburg Main Office | 3135 1st Ave N. | 7 p.m.Spring Hill | 8501 Philatelic Dr. | 7 p.m.Southside Postal Store | 6000 S Florida Ave. | 6:30 p.m.Tampa Forest Hills | 11800 N Florida Ave. | 6 p.m.Tampa Hilldale | 3201 W Hillsborough Ave. | 6 p.m.Tampa Peninsula | 1002 S Church Ave. | 6 p.m.Tampa Town N Country | 7521 Paula Dr. | 6 p.m.Tampa Temple Terrace | 8761 N 56th St. | 6 p.m.Pinellas Park | 5260 78th Ave N. | 6 p.m.Winter Haven | 111 W Central Ave. | 6 p.m.St. Petersburg Crossroads | 1275 66th St N. | 5:30 p.m.St. Petersburg Gateway Mall | 701 77th Ave N. | 5:30 p.m.Largo | 50 8th Ave SW. | 5:30 p.m.New Tampa | 16350 Bruce B Downs Blvd. | 5:30 p.m.Tampa Commerce | 401 N Ashley Dr. | 5:30 p.m.
Here are some additional tips:
Mail early in the day at any post office. Be sure to verify post office hours of operation.If depositing a tax return in a blue collection box on April 15, double check the scheduled pick-up time. Your tax envelope must be deposited prior to the last scheduled pick-up time posted to receive the April 15 postmark.Clearly and correctly address your envelope, including the return address, and use the correct ZIP Code, if not using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pre-addressed envelope.