Tax Returns: Certified Mail vs Certificate of Mailing

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Sleepless
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Tax Returns: Certified Mail vs Certificate of Mailing

Post by Sleepless » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:21 am

Certified mail is $2.80.
Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.

Both prove that you mailed your return, but USPS keeps a record only in the case of Certified Mail.

The lady at the post office claimed that only Certified Mail is recognized by the IRS. Is this correct? Or can I use a Certificate of Mailing?
Last edited by Sleepless on Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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earlyout
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Post by earlyout » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 am

The IRS has no preference on how your return is mailed. If I can 't e-file I just use regular first class postage. If you want proof that the IRS received the return, you have to use certified mail. A certificate will only show that you mailed the return, not that it was received by the IRS. The USPS empolyee was just trying to tell you that the certificate would not provide any documentation that your return was received by the IRS.

EO

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Post by Steelersfan » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:51 am

Before I eFiled the last two years I always just used regular first class mail.

It worked every time.

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nisiprius
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Post by nisiprius » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:59 am

I just use first-class mail. Because it's better to get it into the mail today than take it to the post office next weekend. I've never had a problem.

I'm not sure what certified mail gets you. I watch my bank account online to see when the check gets cashed.

Certified mail just proves they received something. It doesn't get it to them any faster. It doesn't prove what was sent. How, exactly is it going to help you? You figure out they didn't get it. You send it again. They stick you some trivial penalty and interest. Maybe you could send them a return receipt and get them to refund the penalty and interest, but that's what we're talking about, spending $2.80 as insurance against an 0.1% chance of being assessed a $31.41 penalty.

I don't think mail sent by me or two me has gotten lost more than five times in my life, if that. The last couple of times mail sent to me got lost, it :oops: got lost on my own desk. A postcard I wrote on thin white birch bark at summer camp, stuck a stamp on, and mailed to my folks--no envelope, just dropped the birch bark in the mailbox--got there.
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Post by The Wizard » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:11 am

Checko on all replies so far.
Single forever stamp does fine for up to 3 or 4 pages.
Weigh the letter and tack on a few 17-centers if it's a heavy one.

Certified mail is good if you're suing someone and want evidence they received notice...

bill99
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Post by bill99 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:14 am

If we can't e-file (e.g., our state isn't quite ready to accept corporate e-filed returns this year), I use Certified Mail, Return Receipt. ($2.80 + $2.30 + postage -- ouch!)

But I like a stamped by IRS/state postal return receipt card. My file cabinet is full of them.

Next year should be e-filed all the way, so I'll save a few bucks.

We do a lot of 1st Class mailing in my business. The conventional wisdom -- from every lettershop/mailer/postal expert I've ever talked to is that 99% of 1st Class Mail gets through.

Which means 1% doesn't.

While the "get thru" rate is probably better than 99% for large flats addressed to the IRS, the consequences of my tax returns NOT getting to them by April 15th (or whenever) outweight the cost, partly because I wouldn't know it didn't get there until I got a nice, friendly late notice from Uncle Sam.

Our local county charges a 10% late fee on one of our business taxes (gross receipts or personal property, I've forgotten which), although some of those taxes can be paid at a local bank, giving me an immediate receipt for free (well, other than gas).

And in Virginia, corporations (even tiny S-corps) must file corporate returns with the State Corporation Commission. One envelope with a $100 fee goes Certified Mail Return Receipt to one address. ANOTHER envelope which contains the proforma declaration that, yes, we're still in business, goes Certified Mail Return Receipt to ANOTHER address.

Ticks me off every year. Can't wait for that one to go e-file. But if I forget to file it, a few months later, the SCC AUTOMATICALLY revokes my corporate status! At least, that's what the fine print says.

Again, that's a very serious consequence, so I pay the expensive Certified charges.

Bottom line: If I MUST be sure it gets there, I either mail it Certified or go with UPS, where I can track it.

Cheers,
Bill

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Post by Chuck » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:27 am

My first class postage was $2.07. (That was a tough return!) The penalty would be minimal if it gets lost (and honestly, I've never had mail get lost) because the feds owe me money, so I didn't bother with anything fancy.

A few weeks ago I got a correspondence audit. They said "respond in 30 days or we'll send you a bill for $30,000." You're damn sure I used certified mail for that one.

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Re: Tax Returns: "Certified Mail" or "Certifi

Post by gatorman » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:35 am

Sleepless wrote:Certified mail is $2.80.
Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.

Both prove that you mailed your return, but USPS keeps a record only in the case of Certified Mail.

The lady at the post office claimed that only Certified Mail is recognized by the IRS. Is this correct? Or can I use a Certificate of Mailing?
Incorrect as far as I know(didn't do any research to see if there is a new reg). Per IRC 7502(c)(2), only registered mail is prima facie evidence the return was delivered to the IRS office to which it was addressed and the date of registration is deemed to be the postmark date. The IRS could adopt a Reg. to give the same effect to certified mail, but as far as I know has not done so.

gatorman

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Cloud
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Post by Cloud » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:43 am

Regular USPS mail for me. Tax return already back with the check in my hand so I know they got it.

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Post by The Wizard » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:48 am

Tax return and tax refund are two different things...

Whatyear?
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Post by Whatyear? » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:51 am

I would just use regular mail.

You need to be careful using any service that includes getting a receipt because if there is no one there to sign for it, the letter carrier will take it away and try again on the next scheduled delivery, or the next, or the next, until a signature is obtained. Which means your return could arrive late!

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Post by integrity » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:52 am

nisiprius wrote:A postcard I wrote on thin white birch bark at summer camp, stuck a stamp on, and mailed to my folks--no envelope, just dropped the birch bark in the mailbox--got there.
:shock: :shock: :shock:

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Post by markfaix » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:12 pm

I recommend using certified mail.

Several years ago, the IRS lost my tax return and check. To abate penalties, they requested:

1. Proof of mailing with certified mail receipt
2. Copy of my stop payment request on the original check.

If I had been unable to produce these, I would have had to pay hundreds of dollars in penalties, both for "failure to file" and for interest. Fortunately, with the above documentation, I paid no penalties.

In response to other posts, there is no concern about when the tax return arrives as long as it is postmarked by the due date. The IRS uses a rubber stamp to acknowlege receipt, so you don't have to worry about someone not being there when your tax return arrives.

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Post by xerty24 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:24 pm

markfaix wrote:I recommend using certified mail.

Several years ago, the IRS lost my tax return and check. To abate penalties, they requested:

1. Proof of mailing with certified mail receipt
2. Copy of my stop payment request on the original check.

If I had been unable to produce these, I would have had to pay hundreds of dollars in penalties, both for "failure to file" and for interest. Fortunately, with the above documentation, I paid no penalties.

In response to other posts, there is no concern about when the tax return arrives as long as it is postmarked by the due date. The IRS uses a rubber stamp to acknowlege receipt, so you don't have to worry about someone not being there when your tax return arrives.
Agree. I had a situation where they lost/sat-on my return for 2 months, then cashed my check in July and sent me a bill for late penalties. With a copy of my certified receipt showing my 4/15 mailing date, all my problems went away. Not so sure they would have taken my word over theirs otherwise.

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Post by nisiprius » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:19 pm

I mailed my return April 5th. The online image of the back of the check shows it was stamped as cashed April 12th.

I mailed my 1040-ES #1 on April 7th. It was cashed on April 11th.

I believe I'm in the clear.

But now I'm curious: the image I retrieved online of the back of the second check is borderline-illegible. I assume that if there were a real problem and went to the bank, the image they pull would be no different from the one I can access online. So, what then? Is it even possible to get the physical cancelled check at all these days, or if the image is bad are you just out of luck?
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Post by snooks » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:33 pm

I have always mailed tax returns certified with return receipt requested. But last year I dropped two state partnership returns in a mailbox outside the post office, and both got there 10 days late. No tax or refund was due, but there was a large penalty for failing to file on time. I was able to get them to do away with the penalty, but I never take a chance on it now.

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Post by MarkNYC » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:01 pm

nisiprius wrote:
I'm not sure what certified mail gets you. I watch my bank account online to see when the check gets cashed.

Certified mail just proves they received something. It doesn't get it to them any faster. It doesn't prove what was sent. How, exactly is it going to help you?
Here is how certified mail helps you: If you mail your return on April 14th or 15th, or October 14th or 15th, IRS (and the states) are receiving countless returns during the next few days. If you owe, your check may not get processed for two weeks. Subsequently, IRS may improperly send you a penalty notice for "late-filing", claiming that they believe you filed after the due date. Nevermind that they should have the mailing envelope that shows a timely postmark - the burden is on you to prove you filed/mailed on time. Without a certified mailing receipt you have no evidence. The penalty for late-filing is 5% per month. One day late is treated as one month. If a taxpayer owes $100K with their return, the penalty is $5,000. Each taxpayer should decide for themselves if the cost and inconvenience of certified mail is worth it.

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Post by southerndoc » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:21 pm

Am I mistaken in thinking that your tax return must be postmarked by 15 April, not received by then?

EDIT: Yes, I'm correct. IRC 7502(a) states that if the return is postmarked by the due date, then it is considered on time by the IRS.

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Re: Tax Returns: "Certified Mail" or "Certifi

Post by TT » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:33 pm

Sleepless wrote:Certified mail is $2.80.
Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.

Both prove that you mailed your return, but USPS keeps a record only in the case of Certified Mail.

The lady at the post office claimed that only Certified Mail is recognized by the IRS. Is this correct? Or can I use a Certificate of Mailing?
Regular mail for years and years and never had a problem.
Taxes were sufficient so I do not intend to further support failing , inefficient Post Office.

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Post by DadInvestor » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:36 pm

What if you file up to a few weeks late but are owed a refund? What if you file 8 months late but, again, they iwe you?

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Post by MarkNYC » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:41 pm

DadInvestor wrote:What if you file up to a few weeks late but are owed a refund? What if you file 8 months late but, again, they iwe you?
Late-filing penalties are based on the net tax due on the return, so if the return shows a refund, penalties are not assessed. There may be rare exceptions.

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Post by mickeyd » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:41 pm

Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.
Only proves that you mailed them an envelope. Does not prove that you mailed them any contents.

Save your money and mail it first class if you are not doing it online. The cost of doing taxes in many cases is too much as it is.
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Post by nisiprius » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:02 pm

MarkNYC wrote:Here is how certified mail helps you: If you mail your return on April 14th or 15th, or October 14th or 15th, IRS (and the states) are receiving countless returns during the next few days. If you owe, your check may not get processed for two weeks. Subsequently, IRS may improperly send you a penalty notice for "late-filing", claiming that they believe you filed after the due date. Nevermind that they should have the mailing envelope that shows a timely postmark - the burden is on you to prove you filed/mailed on time. Without a certified mailing receipt you have no evidence. The penalty for late-filing is 5% per month. One day late is treated as one month. If a taxpayer owes $100K with their return, the penalty is $5,000. Each taxpayer should decide for themselves if the cost and inconvenience of certified mail is worth it.
Ouch!

I guess I was thinking of the trivial fines I've been assessed when I've been a few days late on my estimated payments, or when they've calculated that my estimated payments didn't quite meet the pay-as-you-go formula.
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Post by dcnut » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:07 pm

I have been sending my returns via certified mail (w/return receipt) for many, many years. In addition, I always type the following in the bottom margin of the first page of the return: "Certified Mail Receipt #xxx xxxx xxx xxxx". I got this advice from a tax preparer.

Glenn

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Post by billern » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:16 pm

MarkNYC wrote:
nisiprius wrote:
I'm not sure what certified mail gets you. I watch my bank account online to see when the check gets cashed.

Certified mail just proves they received something. It doesn't get it to them any faster. It doesn't prove what was sent. How, exactly is it going to help you?
Here is how certified mail helps you: If you mail your return on April 14th or 15th, or October 14th or 15th, IRS (and the states) are receiving countless returns during the next few days. If you owe, your check may not get processed for two weeks. Subsequently, IRS may improperly send you a penalty notice for "late-filing", claiming that they believe you filed after the due date. Nevermind that they should have the mailing envelope that shows a timely postmark - the burden is on you to prove you filed/mailed on time. Without a certified mailing receipt you have no evidence. The penalty for late-filing is 5% per month. One day late is treated as one month. If a taxpayer owes $100K with their return, the penalty is $5,000. Each taxpayer should decide for themselves if the cost and inconvenience of certified mail is worth it.
The other reason it can be important to establish that a return is filed timely is that many Federal elections that are available to be made on a tax return are only valid if they are made on a timely filed return.

If you have an important election to make, proof that the return was filed timely is very important. So, don't think just because you don't owe any more (especially if you don't owe money because of an election) the filing date is not important!

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Post by anthau » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:17 pm

mickeyd wrote:
Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.
Only proves that you mailed them an envelope. Does not prove that you mailed them any contents.
Same holds true for certified mail.

I file electronically and send my f1040-V & f1040-ES with certificates of mailing. My rationale: Nobody has to sign for it (I'm sure the IRS *loves* signing for mail), but I have proof I sent [something] to the IRS on a date certain.
Best, | | Anth

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Post by fsrph » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:24 pm

The Wizard wrote:Checko on all replies so far.
Single forever stamp does fine for up to 3 or 4 pages.
Weigh the letter and tack on a few 17-centers if it's a heavy one.
I always use first class mail with no problems. If you want to save some loose change just take your mail to the person behind the counter so they can affix the exact postage. Then there is no need to guess the postage and add a stamp or two just to be sure. Also, where I mail my reutrns they have three mailboxes inside the post office .... one for Federal, State, and local returns. Put your mail in the proper mailbox and it's very. very hard to lose.

Francis

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Post by mickeyd » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:32 pm

Bottom line seems to be to do it all electronically and avoid all of the hassle. I file my taxes annually online via TT and I use EFTPS to send them my estimated qy taxes. No muss. No fuss. No stamps.
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Post by sometimesinvestor » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:33 pm

one time my first class mail was lost and the hassle proved incredible. I figure in my life the total bill to avoid hassles and hours of visits to the irs etc will be under $200 and that seems a small price to pay.
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Post by LongDistanceRunner » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:26 pm

I sent (by 1st class USPS mail) my 1040 to the IRS (as well as filed my state income tax return with my state) on March 1. I was due a refund from both Fed and state. I just received the refund from the state on April 12 but have not heard from the IRS. I never waited so long for a refund before, so I am wondering if the IRS received it.

Is there a simple (quick) way to determine if they received it? Do I call the IRS? I am due several thousand dollars of refund.

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Post by kd2008 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:43 pm

I was claiming first time home buyer's tax credit so I had to paper file. I sent it via certified mail+return receipt+postage for both state and federal. It was a little expensive but i could track my mail, receive signed record of the return being received so the peace of mind was priceless. oh i got my state refund in 5 days and federal in 6 weeks. I was impressed with the time for the federal refund because everybody was saying that the first time home buyer's tax credit resulted in processing delays of 3 or 4 months. but then again i sent my returns in first week of feb.

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Re: Tax Returns: "Certified Mail" or "Certifi

Post by Kevinaom » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:48 pm

Sleepless wrote:Certified mail is $2.80.
Certificate of Mailing is $1.15.

Both prove that you mailed your return, but USPS keeps a record only in the case of Certified Mail.

The lady at the post office claimed that only Certified Mail is recognized by the IRS. Is this correct? Or can I use a Certificate of Mailing?
This does not prove you mailed your return. It only proves you mailed an envelope to them. How do they know your return was in there?

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Re: Tax Returns: "Certified Mail" or "Certifi

Post by jpsfranks » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:56 pm

TT wrote:Regular mail for years and years and never had a problem.
Taxes were sufficient so I do not intend to further support failing , inefficient Post Office.
You apparently have enough faith in the failing, inefficient Post Office to trust them not to lose your mail.

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Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:44 pm

I believe that Certified Return Receipt is the safest because you can actually prove that someone a the other end received it. I also believe that you must use Certified mail in order to add the Return Receipt but I'm no expert on the subject. The return receipt comes back to you in the mail with the signature of the receiving agent on it. It does cost additional.
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Free File Fillable Forms

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:49 pm

As we are on the topic of taxes, I would like to share my experience of the past few hours.

I will not be able to file my taxes today. I did all the "hard" work, but I need some time -- and a clear head -- to play with some options and "what-if" scenarios. And so at the last possible moment I started looking into filing an extension. I am expecting a refund, but as I understand it, filing an extension is still necessary.

To my dismay Form 4868 is not provided in the 1040 booklet of forms and instructions. And so my choices included filing a paper form -- and waiting in that horrible 15-April-line at a Post Office to get a certified mail receipt -- or filing the extension electronically.

After some browsing of the IRS site and reading the instructions, I was directed to Free File Fillable Forms at https://www.freefilefillableforms.org/ . This is actually a very nice tax filing option that I was completely unaware of. Necessity is truly the mother of invention!

This site provides:
- access to fillable forms,
- a "do calculations" option that copies user-entered information to all relevant fields and forms and does simple arithmetic, and
- free e-filing ability.

Today, I started Form 1040, entered my name, address, and Social Security number, and clicked on the "Extension" button on the top. That took to the electronic Form 4868, where my identifying fields were populated (by using the "do calculations" function), and all I had to do was to enter my estimated tax liability and estimated taxes paid. The form correctly left the "balance due" field blank because I overpaid my taxes during the year. But if there were "balance due," the form would allow me to enter my bank information for direct debit.

In order to file Form 4868 through this system, I also had to provide my identifying information including last year's (2008) AGI. But once the "formalities" were completed I received an email that "my return was successfully transmitted." That was a message from Free File Fillable Forms. In 24-48 hours I should also receive an email from the IRS.

In summary:
- Free File Fillable Forms is a free, income-independent tax filing option.
- It is best suited for people who do all their calculations off-line (e.g., in spreadsheets) and then manually (i.e., not using tax software) fill out forms for filing.
- It is also a good option for those who have to get an extension late in the game.
- Finally, and relevantly to this discussion, the confirmation email is almost instantaneous and free.

Victoria
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Post by TLC » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:41 am

LongDistanceRunner wrote:Is there a simple (quick) way to determine if they received it? Do I call the IRS? I am due several thousand dollars of refund.
You can try the "Where's My Refund" link on the IRS site (http://www.irs.gov).

--TLC

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Re: Free File Fillable Forms

Post by House Blend » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:39 am

VictoriaF wrote:I will not be able to file my taxes today. I did all the "hard" work, but I need some time -- and a clear head -- to play with some options and "what-if" scenarios. And so at the last possible moment I started looking into filing an extension. I am expecting a refund, but as I understand it, filing an extension is still necessary.
IANATP[*], but that is not my understanding. If you have overpaid, you don't have to file an extension.

A few years ago, I was overseas for the first four months of the year. I made sure that I overpaid my taxes, and filed in May after I returned. No penalties, and no nasty grams from the IRS.

[*] I am not a tax professional.

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Post by Tony » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:44 am

mickeyd wrote:Bottom line seems to be to do it all electronically and avoid all of the hassle. I file my taxes annually online via TT and I use EFTPS to send them my estimated qy taxes. No muss. No fuss. No stamps.
This works for me too. And I pay California estimated taxes through Cal's version of EFTPS, called Webpay. Works perfectly.

I can check everything: both IRS and California send electronic notice of receipt of the return within 24 hours of my efiling, and my credit union online tells me when the payments are taken out of my account.
Tony

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Post by duhmel1 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:49 am

Whatyear? wrote:I would just use regular mail.

You need to be careful using any service that includes getting a receipt because if there is no one there to sign for it, the letter carrier will take it away and try again on the next scheduled delivery, or the next, or the next, until a signature is obtained. Which means your return could arrive late!
Yeah, I am worried that there won't be anyone at the IRS to sign for my return.

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Post by duhmel1 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:52 am

If you send your return in an 8 1/2 x 11 envelop it is considered a first class package. If you then apply postage through Paypal, you will get a tracking number. Not proof of mailing but you will know if it has been received.

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Re: Free File Fillable Forms

Post by Chuck » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:09 am

House Blend wrote: IANATP[*], but that is not my understanding. If you have overpaid, you don't have to file an extension.

[*] I am not a tax professional.
You are not a tax professional. Worth emphasizing before someone takes your "advice." My tax professional had me file the extension last year, a year in which I overpaid. While that doesn't prove it's necessary, I did a quick check of some IRS publications and none of them said that an extension is not necessary if you've overpaid.

My guess is you got lucky, and no one at the IRS felt it was worthwhile to chase you down.

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Post by SirWired » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:53 am

The IRS does NOT accept a certificate of mailing as proof of timely filing in the case where the postmark is missing or illegible. Why? Section 7502(c) specifically states Certified and Registered mail as proper proofs of filing. 7502(f) also allows the express services of UPS and FedEx as proof of timely filing/mailing. A certificate of mailing is not on the list, ergo, not accepted as proof in this case.

Why? This is easy. The IRS saves the envelope (or an image of it) for every article received where there is a question about it being timely filed (i.e. the Postmark late or missing.) To provide proof of timely mailing, you present your certified/registered receipt (or express delivery receipt), they can then match up the number on the receipt with the number on the envelope. If all you have is a certificate of mailing, there is no way for the IRS to match that certificate with your return. It could be a certificate for anyone in that zipcode that mailed something to the IRS that day.

To make things even more interesting, if the return is lost entirely, some, but not all, judicial circuits will accept a certificate of mailing. However, not all circuits do, using the (in my mind) perfectly acceptable reasoning that if a Certificate of Mailing is not good enough for timely mailing, then it should not be good enough for proof of mailing either. (The counterargument is that the Certified/Registered receipt doesn't prove that you actually sent your return; it's just proof you sent something... therefore for this purpose, it's little different from a Certificate of Mailing. Not true if it is late instead of lost.)

SirWired

This is all from: apps.irs.gov/pub/irs-sca/1998-051.pdf

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Post by SirWired » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:58 am

BTW, not everybody can e-file. I needed to file five states under the same W-2, and the IRS e-file system won't accept more than four.

SirWired

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Re: Free File Fillable Forms

Post by SirWired » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:02 am

House Blend wrote: IANATP[*], but that is not my understanding. If you have overpaid, you don't have to file an extension.

A few years ago, I was overseas for the first four months of the year. I made sure that I overpaid my taxes, and filed in May after I returned. No penalties, and no nasty grams from the IRS.

[*] I am not a tax professional.
There are no penalties for filing late if you do not owe money. However, if the IRS has W-2/1099's for you; they may compute your taxes in the manner most unfavorable to you, look at how much was withheld, and if they think you could owe money, (and you haven't filed an extension) they can file a substitute return on your behalf and send you a bill, along with the customary interest and penalties. You'll then have to file your "real" return to rebut their automatically-generated one. You won't have to pay the interest and penalties (because they are all based on what you really owe) but that sounds like waaaayyyy more hassle than spending a few minutes to send them an extension request.

SirWired

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OAG
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Post by OAG » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:47 am

LongDistanceRunner wrote:I sent (by 1st class USPS mail) my 1040 to the IRS (as well as filed my state income tax return with my state) on March 1. I was due a refund from both Fed and state. I just received the refund from the state on April 12 but have not heard from the IRS. I never waited so long for a refund before, so I am wondering if the IRS received it.

Is there a simple (quick) way to determine if they received it? Do I call the IRS? I am due several thousand dollars of refund.

LDR
Yes, go to the IRS site (IRS.GOV) and click on "where's my refund". It should show the return was received.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.

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LongDistanceRunner
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Post by LongDistanceRunner » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:10 am

TLC wrote:
LongDistanceRunner wrote:I sent (by 1st class USPS mail) my 1040 to the IRS (as well as filed my state income tax return with my state) on March 1. I was due a refund from both Fed and state. I just received the refund from the state on April 12 but have not heard from the IRS. I never waited so long for a refund before, so I am wondering if the IRS received it.

Is there a simple (quick) way to determine if they received it? Do I call the IRS? I am due several thousand dollars of refund.
You can try the "Where's My Refund" link on the IRS site (http://www.irs.gov).

--TLC
TLC - Thank you, and thanks to OAG as well. I went to the IRS site and found that they received my 1040 and it is still in process. I was also given a Reference number to use when I call the IRS about the status of the return.
LDR | | "Work like you don't need the money. | Love like you've never been hurt. | Dance like nobody's watching." - Satchel Paige

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Re: Free File Fillable Forms

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:09 pm

SirWired wrote:
House Blend wrote: IANATP[*], but that is not my understanding. If you have overpaid, you don't have to file an extension.

A few years ago, I was overseas for the first four months of the year. I made sure that I overpaid my taxes, and filed in May after I returned. No penalties, and no nasty grams from the IRS.

[*] I am not a tax professional.
There are no penalties for filing late if you do not owe money. However, if the IRS has W-2/1099's for you; they may compute your taxes in the manner most unfavorable to you, look at how much was withheld, and if they think you could owe money, (and you haven't filed an extension) they can file a substitute return on your behalf and send you a bill, along with the customary interest and penalties. You'll then have to file your "real" return to rebut their automatically-generated one. You won't have to pay the interest and penalties (because they are all based on what you really owe) but that sounds like waaaayyyy more hassle than spending a few minutes to send them an extension request.

SirWired
SirWired,

Thank you, this is very useful. As I was reading various instructions yesterday night I was wondering about this apparent discrepancy: on one hand IRS does not say that those who overpaid do not need to file for an extension; on the other hand when they describe penalties they present them only with respect to what one owes.

I suppose one can overpay by such a significant amount that IRS would not be able to find a case for penalties even under the most unfavorable circumstances. This could be useful when one is planning to be overseas, like House Blend described. It probably works better with more simple taxes.

Welcome to the Forum!


Victoria
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Post by Sam I Am » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:45 pm

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ElJay
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Post by ElJay » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:06 pm

A coworker of mine brought his tax return to work and used the company mail machine to put Certified + Return Receipt on it: $4.34. I put 44 cents on mine a month and a half ago and it got there just fine.

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Re: Tax Returns: "Certified Mail" or "Certifi

Post by TT » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:07 am

jpsfranks wrote:
TT wrote:Regular mail for years and years and never had a problem.
Taxes were sufficient so I do not intend to further support failing , inefficient Post Office.
You apparently have enough faith in the failing, inefficient Post Office to trust them not to lose your mail.
If this is not failing -What is?
Table 1: USPS's Financial Results and Projections, Fiscal Years 2006–2010

YEAR NET LOSS * DEBT
2006 $0.9 $2.1
2007 $(5.1) $4.2
2008 $(2.8 $7.2
2009 $(7.0) $10.2
2010 $(7.0) $13.2
* All dollars are in billions.

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