Taxes now due July 15

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 15, 2016

Nationally, citizens are getting a few extra days to file their federal tax returns. And locally, Washington Parish residents are getting even more time.

In most years, April 15 is the deadline for federal income taxes. However, Friday is Emancipation Day, and it is a federal holiday in Washington, D.C., so the national tax deadline has been pushed to April 18.

However, residents of Washington and other parishes have until July 15 to file taxes without penalty due to the March flooding. This extension applies to federal and state income taxes.

“We’re telling everyone that comes in here, we tell them you don’t have to pay the money for an extension, you just come in between now and July, and we’ll get them done,” said Raymond Gregg at H&R Block.

However, Gregg said many customers are ignoring the extension.

“But many people say, ‘That’s OK, I want to get it out of the way,’” he said.

Gregg’s offices are on Columbia Street, and he said this year has been slower than most other years, but it could be for a variety of reasons — not just because of the flood.

“There’s a couple of reasons,” he said. “No. 1, there are more people online filing and No. 2, there are now four tax preparers on this one city block.”

Gregg said he doesn’t think many people are even aware there is an extended deadline.

“Most people still don’t understand they have that extension through the 15th of July,” he said.

If residents do wait to get their taxes done, Gregg said they should check to see what H&R Block’s hours will be. Through April 18, the office in Bogalusa will be open until 5 p.m. each day, including the weekends. After that, Gregg said the office will be open “one day a week for four or five hours a day,” but he does not know what day that will be.

“And I don’t think Mandeville knows yet,” he said, referring to the home office.

Gregg said once the new hours are set, they will be posted on the door.