Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that he is directing the Department of Taxation to extend the individual income tax filing and payment deadline in Virginia from May 1 to May 17.

This extension aligns Virginia with the recent announcement from the United States Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service that federal income tax filings and payments would be extended from Thursday, April 15 to Monday, May 17.

“Aligning Virginia’s filing and payment deadline with the federal government will provide additional flexibility and simplify the process for taxpayers,” said Northam. “Even with this extended deadline, we encourage Virginians to file as soon as possible so we can get people the refunds they are entitled to while also protecting the Commonwealth’s strong fiscal footing.”

This deadline extension affects only individual income taxes and does not apply to estimated payments. Individuals who owe taxes will need to make payments by May 17 to avoid penalties.

While interest may still accrue beyond the original deadline, legislation to address this issue will be considered at April’s reconvened session.

“This extension should provide certainty to tax preparers so that we can conclude the tax filing season,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey L. Layne Jr.

There are a number of ways to pay including online, directly from a bank account, check or money order, and credit or debit card, both of which incur an additional fee. The Department of Taxation recommends electronic filing, which is easy, secure and free to use, and requesting direct deposit if a refund is expected.

“Filing electronically is the fastest and most efficient way to submit your return, get it processed and get your refund,” said Tax Commissioner Craig M. Burns. “Due to the COVID-19 protocols that are in place, it could take longer for us to process paper returns.”

To check on the status of your refund, call (804) 367-2486 or use the Where’s My Refund application at tax.virginia.gov. Taxpayers who have questions, should call the Virginia Tax Individual Customer Service hotline at (804) 367-8031.