April 13, 2007 — Procrastinators will get an extra two days this year to file their local income tax returns and for the self-employed, their federal Social Security forms.
Tax returns are due by Tuesday, April 17.
While income tax returns are normally due April 15, this date falls on a Sunday so taxpayers get one additional day. The second extra day comes because April 16 is Patriot's Day in Washington, D.C. This means federal offices are closed.
"We have to comply with that," said acting Internal Revenue Bureau Director Gizette L. Thomas on Friday.
Offices on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday only to help taxpayers prepare their tax returns, she said. Saturday is the last day staff members will assist with tax-return preparation, she said.
Offices will stay open extended hours Monday to accommodate taxpayers who need forms, have questions or want to personally drop off their forms. The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All returns must be postmarked by midnight Tuesday, April 17, but except for one post office each on St. Thomas and St. Croix, post offices will close at their normal hours.
The Aubrey C. Ottley post office in Estate Thomas, St. Thomas, and the Kingshill post office in Estate La Reine, St. Croix, will have extended hours on Tuesday, according to a press release from the U.S. Postal Service. At the Aubrey C. Ottley Post Office, hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Kingshill office hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The post office recommends that people send their tax returns by mail and get proof of mailing and delivery. Certified mail costs $2.40 and return receipt runs $1.85, both in addition to the cost of postage.
People who can't file their income tax return by the deadline may file by Tuesday for an extension, Thomas said. However, at that time they must pay an estimate of what they owe. The income tax return is then due by Oct. 15.
V.I. residents cannot use the electronic-filing feature available at the Internal Revenue Service website because that money goes to the federal government, not the local IRB office, Thomas said.
"People have been doing that," she said.
Additionally, self-employed people, who must pay their own Social Security taxes, must send that form to the IRS Service Center in Austin, Texas, not to the local IRB office. Thomas noted that the address changed this year from the Philadelphia address used in previous years.
Early filers are already receiving their refunds, she said.
"They've been issued starting the first week in March," she said.
The agency is now able to pay refunds in a timely manner, unlike the situation some years back when people had to wait years for refunds, Thomas said.
The fact that the agency now pays refunds quickly has helped with compliance, she said.
Since the local IRB uses the same forms as the federal government, taxpayers will find all forms at www.irs.gov.
For more information, call the IRB at 774-5865 on St. Thomas, 773-1040 on St. Croix and 777-1446 on St. John.
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