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Upon receipt, locally filed tax returns are processed and immediately entered on the Commissioner's Office computer system, allowing quick access for inquiries and the ability to send it back to the taxpayer for correction if necessary. An automated tracking system enables us to quickly inform the citizen at what stage of processing their return is located. All accelerated refunds are processed daily through an on-line computer link with the Virginia Department of Taxation. Tax due payments and initial estimated income tax payments are posted and transmitted to the Portsmouth Treasurer for deposit.
Accessibility is another advantage of locally filed returns. Besides the greater speed in processing of a taxpayer's return, filing locally makes it more convenient for our staff to personally interact with the citizen or tax preparer to correct any errors that have been made. If citizens do not receive their state income tax refunds within an expected time frame, they can contact their local Commissioner's office and speak with a trained staff member regarding the delay. Advice can be rendered as to how best to correct any problems and speed the refund along. Long-distance telephone calls to Richmond do not have to be made.
Last year, approximately 37,000 state income tax returns were filed locally. Over 11,000 citizens were assisted with their questions and over 1,900 state income tax returns were prepared upon request at no charge.
If you are unable to file your return by the May 1 deadline, an automatic six month extension through November 1 is allowed for individual returns. The extension provisions do not apply to the payment of any tax due. If you expect to owe any tax, you must file an extension form and pay at least 90% of the tax liability by May 1.
You are also required to attach all W-2 and 1099 forms, showing Virginia tax withheld with a single staple at the left center of page 1 of the return.
There are two types of penalty: Late Filing Penalty and Extension Penalty. You would owe a penalty for late filing if your return shows a balance due and the return was filed after the due date. This penalty would be 6% per month or portion of the month the return is late. If you submitted an extension to file, and the tax owed when filed exceeds the tax liability by 10%, a penalty for understating the tentative tax on your extension request will be added at the rate of 2 percent per month, or part of the month from the date of filing or extension due date, whichever comes first.