Tax return maybe lost in the mail

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theplayer11
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:51 am

I sent first class certified mail on 3/1, with expected arrival date of 3/4. It left Salt Lake City distribution(going to Ogden) center on 3/5 and then for the next 3 days tracking indicated "in transit, arriving late". From Match 8 to present, there has been no tracking updates.
My question is, should I just send another copy of my return? My concern is if the original return does show up at some point, how will the IRS proceed if they have 2 copies of my return? You would think they would enter one of the copies and I would be all set, but I want to be sure.

carolinaman
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by carolinaman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:10 am

That was always a fear of mine when I used USPS. Electronic filing gets confirmation.

I would suggest you contact the IRS via phone, email or chat (if available) and ask how to handle. Worst case, give it a couple of weeks and send another return with a cover letter explaining the situation. Filing twice can easily confuse the IRS since that is not the usual problem they encounter, but they should be able to sort it out with the cover letter.

cherijoh
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by cherijoh » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:45 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:51 am
I sent first class certified mail on 3/1, with expected arrival date of 3/4. It left Salt Lake City distribution(going to Ogden) center on 3/5 and then for the next 3 days tracking indicated "in transit, arriving late". From Match 8 to present, there has been no tracking updates.
My question is, should I just send another copy of my return? My concern is if the original return does show up at some point, how will the IRS proceed if they have 2 copies of my return? You would think they would enter one of the copies and I would be all set, but I want to be sure.
I efile my Federal return but mail in my state return. I have given up on certified mail though because this happened to me twice in a row when I was due a refund. I had a chat with the guy who works at the post office and his explanation made sense. The NCDOR has its own zipcode (as I'm sure the IRS processing centers do) so the mail gets delivered by the trayful during peak filing season. When this happens the certified letters get mixed in with the regular non-certified mail and the postman "overlooks" the certified letters they are supposed to scan; if it isn't scanned it gets stuck "in transit". After a specified number of days it switches to "in transit, arriving late" in the automated system.

I was told to continue to check the "where's my refund" website and according to that website refile after 6 weeks. If not received then I should send in another copy and write "DUPLICATE FILING" across the top. Check with the IRS, I'm sure they have posted instructions on what to do. If you've filed late but they owe you money no late penalties will apply.

I solved the issue by trying to make sure I owed NC money (but not enough to trigger an underpayment penalty) then file about 10 days before the due date. That gave them enough time to cash the check as proof that they received the return.

EDITED to ADD: My tax return was switched to "in process" at about the 3 week mark on the NCDOR website and then it took another week or two before I got my refund.

fru-gal
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Location: New England

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by fru-gal » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:02 am

It can take awhile due to the amazing amount of mail the IRS gets this time of year.

I have been sending mine return receipt requested for decades and it has never been lost in the mail, but I don't expect to see the return receipt for a month or two.

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beyou
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Location: Northeastern US

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by beyou » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:09 am

I think my e-file hits some e-traffic, but google maps helped it find an alternate route to the IRS.

My returns were accepted by IRS and state gov within 24 hours, got electronic confirmation not only of receipt but that
they are in good order from at least a basic level of acceptability of data format.

Winnie
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Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by Winnie » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:27 am

I paper file taxes due to ID pin. I mailed certified to Fresno. It left the regional center and then was stick in limbo. After about two weeks I stopped in to local PO and enquired about where it might be and the post master said give it another week. It arrived later the next week.

Frisco Kid
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Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:42 am

In the future consider mailing it certified adding proof of delivery using postal form 3811. This form will be mailed back to you with a date stamp confirming it was received. Have done this for both federal and state tax returns for many years with no issues.....

rkhusky
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Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by rkhusky » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am

I mail mine with a check. When the check is cashed, which seems to be a priority, I know my return was received.

miamivice
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Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:51 am

Mail is never lost. Well, never mind be a strong word to use, but I have mailed all sorts of important things, first class, and never had an issue with it. I did have one camera that I returned to the Sony Store "get lost" in the mail, but I am pretty sure it was stolen by the Sony employee who received it (seeing I had no tracking # on the box) and not actually lost in the mail.

If you do a search, I believe there is a website where you can check on the status of your return. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it until at least April 1st.

miamivice
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:51 am

Frisco Kid wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:42 am
In the future consider mailing it certified adding proof of delivery using postal form 3811. This form will be mailed back to you with a date stamp confirming it was received. Have done this for both federal and state tax returns for many years with no issues.....
That won't prevent it from getting lost though....

jrbdmb
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by jrbdmb » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:07 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:51 am
I sent first class certified mail on 3/1, with expected arrival date of 3/4. It left Salt Lake City distribution(going to Ogden) center on 3/5 and then for the next 3 days tracking indicated "in transit, arriving late". From Match 8 to present, there has been no tracking updates.
My question is, should I just send another copy of my return? My concern is if the original return does show up at some point, how will the IRS proceed if they have 2 copies of my return? You would think they would enter one of the copies and I would be all set, but I want to be sure.
The USPS is notoriously unreliable when it comes to updating their tracking information. Back when I was selling stuff on eBay, I would say 25% of the items shipped USPS never received a delivery confirmation. Chances are good that the mail arrived at its destination but was not scanned at delivery due to the volume of mail they are currently processing.

If you absolutely need confirmation of delivery, use FedEx or UPS.

gd
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Location: MA, USA

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by gd » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:54 am

I have had several pieces of first-class mail take over 10 days in the last year, never before in my life. Wait another week.

For me most government interactions have slowed down in the last 1-2 years, and I plan accordingly. Ranges from postal mail to >3 month waits on several social security and other gov't pension issues where similar matters had proceeded smoothly years past. For that matter, just discovered Tax Pub 514 hasn't been released for 2018 yet. Only thing I can think of that's worked smoothly are some CBP matters.

Topic Author
theplayer11
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Tax return maybe lost in the mail

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:04 am

Certified mail should be taken more seriously. If it did reach the IRS and not signed for..major fail.

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