EDISON - The calendar shows April 15, but if you haven't even started on your federal tax return don't fret. If you're due a refund, April 15 isn't much of a deadline at all.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't like to talk about it, but penalties for filing late federal tax returns apply only to people who owe money. The penalty is a percentage of what you owe. If you owe nothing, 5 percent of nothing is ...nothing.
But it doesn't make much sense for anyone to file late. If you are owed a refund, why wouldn't you want it as soon as possible? And if you have unpaid taxes, the late fees add up quickly.
The IRS says about three-fourths of filers get refunds.
The agency also says 90 percent of filers either pay a tax preparer or use computer software to help fill out returns.
For filers who need a little extra time can head to one of 20 post offices that are open until 7 p.m. in northern New Jersey.
They include: Basking Ridge, Bayonne, Colonia, Edgewater, Lake Hiawatha, Linden, Little Falls, Main Avenue Station in Clifton, Maplewood, Metuchen, Monroe, Montclair, Newark Main Post Office, Parlin, Somerville, Tenafly, Warren (Somerset County), West Orange, Woodbridge, and Woodcliff Station in North Bergen. In addition, the Bloomfield Main Post Office is open till 6:45 p.m.
AP wire services contributed to this report.