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3 Tips for Sending Certified Mail to the IRS

“In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” So said Benjamin Franklin more than two centuries ago, and it’s still true today. At least once a year, everyone must communicate with the IRS regarding taxes, whether it’s a tax return, payment, or other tax-related documents.

While it’s become quite common in recent years for individuals to submit their personal tax returns electronically, most business (C Corp, S Corp, Partnership), trust, estate, and individual returns with 1099s, K1’s and other attachments are still submitting tax forms via paper to meet IRS requirements and reduce the likelihood of penalties being levied for incomplete or late filings, which can be very costly to the tax payer.

Whether you file your taxes once a year or quarterly, mailing your taxes to the IRS is common. If you do send tax documents using the U.S. Postal Service, it’s a good idea to use Certified Mail.

What Is Certified Mail?

Certified Mail is a special USPS service that provides proof that a sender’s item was accepted by the USPS at a specific time, date and location, as well as proof the item was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made, along with the time and date the letter was delivered. The sender receives notification of the delivery process via electronic USPS Tracking. Another option the USPS provides is to document the signature of the person receiving the mailpiece.  The service is called Return Receipt, and the sender can select to receive the signature either on an actual postcard (PS Form 3800 “Green Card”) or electronically via email (“Return Receipt Electronic”).

Three Tips for Sending Certified Mail to the IRS

As you probably know, late filings and payments to the IRS can incur penalties and other costs. As a result, it’s vital to send tax documents by their due date. Some people find the process to be a little confusing, so here are some tips to make sure you get it right:

Tip #1: Make sure to send your mailing to the correct address at the IRS

You might think that the IRS has just one address somewhere in Washington, D.C., but in fact, there are numerous addresses across the country for mailing tax returns. How do you know where to send your mail? It depends on your state of residence, the type of form you are submitting, and whether you’re enclosing a payment or not. You can find the correct addresses for each state on the IRS website.

Please note that when you find the appropriate IRS delivery address, it may not have a street name. That’s quite common. Most IRS locations use a PO box, not a street address. If you’re sending a return without a payment, it will likely go to the Department of the Treasury, which may use a building name instead of a street name. If you encounter this issue, just type “Department of Treasury” in the business name and “Internal Revenue Service” in the street address field along with the city, state and zip code.

Tip #2: Make sure you’ve applied the correct postage amount for the size and weight of your mailing

Tax forms can often be multiple pages, which means your mailing can be heavier than the one-ounce maximum for a Forever stamp. If you don’t attach enough postage, your mailing will be returned to you, and this delay could mean that your documents won’t get to the IRS on time. So be sure to weigh your mailpiece and use the correct service based on size and weight.  First Class Mail letters have a maximum weight of 3.5 ounces, and First-Class Mail Flats have a maximum weight of 13 ounces. Anything above 13 ounces will be sent via Priority Mail.

Tip #3: Make sure you use Certified Mail as the mail service

The USPS offers many different mail services, but Certified Mail is the best option for sending any tax-related documents. Why? Because the IRS code (Section 7502c) specifically states the IRS is officially accepting your tax forms or tax payments on the date you send the mailpiece using USPS Certified Mail, not when the IRS actually receives the item.

How Simple Certified Mail Can Help

If you need to send tax documents to the IRS via Certified Mail, it couldn’t be easier than with No trips to the Post Office are required. You can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. Here’s why you should:

  • No more manual USPS forms that are a hassle to complete by hand and prone to error: Certified Mail is too important to rely on manual processes. We automate everything by enabling you to print cover sheets or labels that include electronic postage and the USPS bar codes for Certified Mail, using your regular printer. You mail the IRS return in Certified Mail window envelopes we provide, or in a Priority Mail box for returns above 13 ounces. The process is so simple that customers report time savings exceeding 80%!
  • Accounting firms filing dozens or hundreds of tax returns every quarter can prepare cover sheets or labels very quickly, using our simple batch processing features. Others use our APIs to centralize the mailing of returns from a few regional offices, rather than mailing from dozens of local offices across the country.
  • posts the Proof of Acceptance (Electronic) to your account within hours of your tax return receiving its first outbound scan. The Proof of Acceptance Electronic is the prima facia evidence recognized by the IRS that the Postal Service took possession of your tax return at a specific time, date, and location. This PDF file is stored in your account for ten years and can be downloaded at any time.
  • For tax payers who also want Proof of Delivery, it is also posted to their accounts within 24 hours of delivery, with a signature if Return Receipt Electronic is selected.
  • Simple and easy pricing: There are no sign up costs, no recurring subscription fees, no equipment leases and no hidden transaction fees. Just a small transaction fee added to the USPS postage and Certified Mail fees, for each piece of Certified Mail prepared and managed via Plus, we provide the Certified Mail window envelopes as part of our service.

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There is no charge to set up an account. Sign up today! If you have questions, contact us toll-free at 888-462-1750.

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