• 52°

Tax deadline July 15

In April, the federal government postponed the traditional filing deadline for taxes from April 15 to July 15 — this coming Wednesday.

However, don’t expect to get any more time unless you have a special circumstance.

The decision to postpone the paying of taxes was in response to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a way to help alleviate strains put on taxpayers, from lockdowns to shuttered businesses.

Taxpayers must either pay their taxes by Wednesday or file for an extension, but while the extension gives people until Oct. 15 to file, it doesn’t mean extra time to pay.

It’s suggested that if you plan on filing later, people should estimate what they owe and pay by the 15th.

“If they are getting a refund, it’s not a big deal to miss the deadline because they will be able to get interest,” said H&R Block Branch Manger Elizabeth Fisher. “Anybody owing money will want to get them paid, otherwise there will be penalties.”

Those who are getting refunds will be paid interest dating back to April 15 if they file on time at an interest rate of 5 percent per year through June 30. That percentage dropped to 3 percent per year on July 1.

The interest is compounded daily for refunds and any refund after July 1 will get a blended rate.

Like many places, H&R Block has put several precautions in place to keep its people safe as well as its customers. This has included a drop-off service that allows people to drop off their materials for 24 hours, after which a tax professional will do the taxes.

The reason for 24 hours is because it’s thought that the coronavirus can live on paper for 24 hours.

“We’ve put a lot of different protocols in for our staff,” Fisher said. “We’re sanitizing the front every hour and we are wearing face masks in the office. We’re just making sure we’re safe.”

Fisher said that traffic through their business has been steady with the extension, with plenty of business all the way through the end.

“A lot of them are just normal procrastinators, otherwise they are ones that are of retirement age that don’t want to get COVID-19 and are staying to self isolate.

The Associated Press contributed to this story