Don't expect to make a last minute trip to your local post office branch in Fort Myers, Cape Coral or Naples at midnight on April 15 to mail your Federal tax return. Local branches will only observe their regular hours on Tax Day on Tuesday.
Tax returns that are mailed must be deposited before the last collection time at the post office or collection box on Tax Day to receive an April 15 postmark to be considered filed on time. However, stamped mail can be deposited up to midnight in the blue collection boxes located at 14080 Jetport Loop Road, the USPS Fort Myers Processing & Distribution Center. All mail deposited in those collection boxes will receive an April 15 postmark.
The Cape Coral Central post office, 1030 SE 9th Ave., will be open until 6:30 p.m. on April 15 and the Fort Myers Page Field office will be open until 5:30. Those two locations are the only ones in Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties that will be open after 5 p.m.
If you don't file a return, you must file Form 4868 for an extension by April 15. The extended deadline for filing is Oct. 15.
"Filing for an extension to file a return is not an extension to pay," said IRS spokesman Michael Dobzinski.
Dobzinski estimated that 9.8 million returns will be filed by Floridians this year and 1 million of those will be for extensions.
He also said that about 91 percent of all returns are now filed electronically.
"More than 22 million returns are expected to be filed in the last week leading up to April 15," said Dobzinski. "Of that, 4 million returns are filed on April 15. We receive returns at the rate of 3 million a day in the final week."
Dobzinski highly recommends tax payers file their returns electronically, but you still must hit the send button before midnight April 15 to be considered on time.
"Don't overlook your deductions and tax credits when filling out your forms," Dobzinski. "A common mistake for Florida taxpayers, if you itemize don't overlook the sales tax deduction. This will be the last year to take that deduction unless Congress passes an extension."
Post offices offer special services for tax returns like Priority Express Mail, Priority Mail. First-Class Mail, Certificate of Mailing, Certified Mail and Return Receipt.
The USPS recommends depositing mail early in the day and double check the collection times on any collection box. Also, affix the correct postage on the envelope, which is 49 cents for one ounce parcels and each additional ounce adds 21 cents.