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Benefits of Using Certified Mail to Send Tax Returns

Your tax return is one of the most important items you’ll mail all year. Not only do tax forms need to be filled out properly and accurately, they also need to be mailed on time. Failing to file on time can lead to fees and penalties – up to 5% per month. While e-filing has become increasingly popular, there are numerous reasons why many people still need to mail in paper documents.

Why Send Tax Returns via Certified Mail?

Some people mistakenly believe that if they mail their tax return with their payment on or before the due date, the return will be treated as “on time.” While the postmark date is important, it’s not necessarily enough. If you send your mailpiece via First Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express, the IRS must RECEIVE your mailing by the due date to consider it on time.

That’s what makes Certified Mail different and a real advantage when mailing tax documents and payments. This is because the IRS, using Section 7502(c) of the tax code which is commonly referred to as the “mailbox rule”, has determined that tax forms sent via Certified Mail (or Registered Mail) are deemed accepted by the IRS on the date of MAILING, regardless of the date the mail is received. In other words, the mailing is considered delivered on the mailing date, not the delivery date. So even if the IRS never receives your mailing, it will be treated as filed on time if you sent it via Certified Mail on or before the due date.

What is the Mailbox Rule (aka Prima Facie evidence)?

The legal concept of the mailbox rule, which is formally known as Prima Facie evidence rule, makes it possible for the IRS to accept the tax return as soon as it is mailed via Certified Mail. The Latin phrase “prima facie” literally means “at first appearance” and establishes that the postmark date of Certified Mail is legally considered the delivery date.

So, in effect, the IRS “receives” your Certified Mail mailpiece on the day it is postmarked, not on the day it is delivered. This provides last-minute tax filers who use Certified Mail a little extra time to avoid costly tax penalties.

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 SimpleCertifiedMail.com. No trips to the post office are required. You can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Here’s why you should:

  • You can prepare, print, and send Certified Mail and a Return Receipt from your computer using plain paper and our free Certified Mail envelopes.
  • There is no need to manually fill out green cards, which can lead to mistakes. Everything is automated. Your tax documents are too important to risk transposing numbers or misspelling an address, which can happen when filling out forms by hand.
  • By eliminating manually completing the green forms, postage meters, and trips to the Post Office, clients report time and labor savings of up to 80%.
  • You’ll have instant digital access to ten years of records, including Proof of Acceptance, Proof of Delivery, and Proof of Return Receipt Electronic for each mailing. A handy search box enables you to find specific recipients quickly and easily, which is a great feature for legal compliance.

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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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