Is ita good idea to send in tax returns by certified mail?


S

steve-o

When you can't file electronically is it
a good or bad idea to send in returns by certified mail as opposed to
first class?
If it's a bad idea please explain why. It seems to me that for the
extra 2.30, you have proof that the return was delivered and if it
wasn't
you have proof it was sent(yeah, I guess you might have to prove you
sent a return and nota blank sheet of paper). Of course if the postman
forgets to scan it you won't be able to trace it via USPS.com.
Just curious what the consensus is.

- Thanks - Steve
 
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J

John Levine

When you can't file electronically is it a good or bad idea to send
in returns by certified mail as opposed to first class?
I use a Certificate of Mailing, which is just what it sounds like, a
form that has a postmark showing that you mailed your return and to
what address. It's cheaper than certified mail, and just as good in
case there's some question whether you filed.

Regards,
John Levine, (e-mail address removed), Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://www.johnlevine.com, ex-Mayor
"More Wiener schnitzel, please", said Tom, revealingly.
 
S

Steve Pope

steve-o said:
When you can't file electronically is it
a good or bad idea to send in returns by certified mail as opposed to
first class?
If it's a bad idea please explain why. It seems to me that for the
extra 2.30, you have proof that the return was delivered and if it
wasn't
you have proof it was sent(yeah, I guess you might have to prove you
sent a return and nota blank sheet of paper).
I have used it for unusually important returns such as form
5500 or an 83(b) election. I have not used it for normal
1040's, estimated payments, etc. on the theory that if
everyone sent those by certified mail it would clog up
the system.

Another option is Certificate of Mailing.

Steve
 
T

Tom

John Levine said:
I use a Certificate of Mailing, which is just what it sounds like, a
form that has a postmark showing that you mailed your return and to
what address. It's cheaper than certified mail, and just as good in
case there's some question whether you filed.
I have always used certified mail with a return receipt. It is expensive
and time consuming.

What exactly do you do to get a certificate of mailing? I looked it up and
see it is $1.10, but can't find anything on the actual process.
 
S

Seth

I use a Certificate of Mailing, which is just what it sounds like, a
form that has a postmark showing that you mailed your return and to
what address. It's cheaper than certified mail, and just as good in
case there's some question whether you filed.
The IRS has said that it won't accept a Certificate of Mailing as
proof of timely filing. Courts have disagreed. (I use a CoM too.)

Seth
 
S

Salmon Egg

"Tom" <[email protected]> said:
What exactly do you do to get a certificate of mailing? I looked it up and
see it is $1.10, but can't find anything on the actual process.
At post offices, there are certificate of mailing forms near the
certified mailing forms. The two processes are similar.

Bill
 
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J

John Levine

What exactly do you do to get a certificate of mailing? I looked it up and
see it is $1.10, but can't find anything on the actual process.
You get a little form on which you write the To and From address,
which the post office postmarks to verify the date and that you mailed
something.

I've never had to prove that I mailed something, so I don't know how
likely the IRS is to claim it's no good.

R's,
John
 
C

Charlie Darwin

steve-o said:
When you can't file electronically is it
a good or bad idea to send in returns by certified mail as opposed to
first class?
If it's a bad idea please explain why. It seems to me that for the
extra 2.30, you have proof that the return was delivered and if it
wasn't
you have proof it was sent(yeah, I guess you might have to prove you
sent a return and nota blank sheet of paper). Of course if the postman
forgets to scan it you won't be able to trace it via USPS.com.
Just curious what the consensus is.

- Thanks - Steve
Certified Mail is a waste of money. You can get a bar coded Delivery
Confirmation for
about 25 % of the Certified price-- though you'll have to put your paperwork
in a
small box or thick padded envelope. Seems the postal droids can't issue a DC
sticker for a "letter"-- only "merchandise". You can check online to see
when it was delivered.
 
S

steve-o

Certified Mail is a waste of money. You can get a bar coded Delivery
Confirmation for
about 25 % of the Certified price-- though you'll have to put your paperwork
in a
small box or thick padded envelope. Seems the postal droids can't issue a DC
sticker for a "letter"-- only "merchandise". You can check online to see
when it was delivered.
Thanks for the inout. When I search for "certified mail" at irs.gov I
find something that sort
of implies a certified reciept is proof of a timely fileing. "Proof of
mailing" costs less as mentioned
but I don't know if it buys you the same protection.. - thanks!
 
C

Charlie Darwin

steve-o said:
Thanks for the inout. When I search for "certified mail" at irs.gov I
find something that sort
of implies a certified reciept is proof of a timely fileing. "Proof of
mailing" costs less as mentioned
but I don't know if it buys you the same protection.. - thanks!
I recommended *Delivery Confirmation*, not *Proof of Mailing*. These are two
difference services.

DC does just what its name says-- it confirms that your piece of mail was
delivered to the recipient by online lookup of your unique DC bar coded
number. If they lose it, that's their problem, not yours. You have proof
they got it.
 
D

Drew Edmundson

When you can't file electronically is it
a good or bad idea to send in returns by certified mail as opposed to
first class?
If it's a bad idea please explain why. It seems to me that for the
extra 2.30, you have proof that the return was delivered and if it
wasn't
you have proof it was sent(yeah, I guess you might have to prove you
sent a return and nota blank sheet of paper). Of course if the postman
forgets to scan it you won't be able to trace it via USPS.com.
Just curious what the consensus is.
Registered mail (via the Internal Revenue Code) and Certified Mail
(via IRS Regulations) are the only two USPS proofs accepted by IRS. As
another reply said, some courts have accepted other methods but
registered and certified are the only "sure" things for IRS from USPS.

I don't waste money on return receipt - registered it isn't necessary
and the regulations don't require it for certified.
 
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S

steve-o

Registered mail (via the Internal Revenue Code) and Certified Mail
(via IRS Regulations) are the only two USPS proofs accepted by IRS. As
another reply said, some courts have accepted other methods but
registered and certified are the only "sure" things for IRS from USPS.

I don't waste money on return receipt - registered it isn't necessary
and the regulations don't require it for certified.
Agreed. This is why I like "Certified(no return reciept)" as opposed
to proof of mailing and it's
less expensive than registered..
Delivery confirmation requires you to either stick it in a bubble
envelope, or
throw some of those plastic peanuts to make the envelope thick enough
and
it doesn't buy you anything if it gets lost other than to know it
wasn't
delivered or the mailman forgot to scan. Priority mail allows you to
purchase
Delivery confirmation as well, as the bubble envelope or peanut trick.
Thanks again for the input.
- Steve
 

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