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Can I and my friends send together in the same envelope the tax refund declarations via DHL Express service? Who will sign receiving the envelope?

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    Out of curiosity, why do you propose sending several persons' documents together in the same envelope? How will that improve the odds that your return will be received? – dg99 Mar 17 '15 at 21:03
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    My guess is that it won't increase the speed or odds, but it will decrease the cost for using a faster method. – David Rice Mar 17 '15 at 22:01
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    the IRS is notorious for disliking any registered, certified or special handling mail sent to them. that might actually delay you in some cases. instead of spending money doing it this way just e-file it (federal is free and state is only 19.95) and they will have it for sure and you will get confirmation within 24 hours. everything about this question implies immaturity and lack of common sense. – GµårÐïåñ Mar 17 '15 at 22:44
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    @GµårÐïåñ notorious??? Certified is the only way to prove you mailed a piece, there's nothing to dislike. If they ever come back saying you didn't file or filed late - certified mail receipt is the only legal way to defend yourself (for paper-filers). Nothing else, not Fedex, not DHL, not priority mail with delivery confirmation. Only certified. – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 5:28
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    @GµårÐïåñ prevent? NEVER. Delay? Not certified. Registered - most definitely. If you're sending correspondence of any kind to the IRS - always send certified. It cannot be missed due to your certifying it, and no-one ever will make such a claim – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 7:10
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If you must mail it in, you only need to have it postmarked on the day it is due. Send it Certified Mail at the USPS for under $5, and you're set.

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    This. Plenty of people mail it late on April 15th--big cities will usually have some post offices open until midnight for this very reason. – Loren Pechtel Mar 18 '15 at 2:03
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    +1 It doesn't matter when the IRS receives it, but you must mail it on or before the filing deadline. – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 5:25
  • @LorenPechtel - Definitely - I lived near the big one in Philly, and I remember as a kid my procrastinating father running out at like 11PM... – Aaron D. Marasco Mar 18 '15 at 23:59
  • @AaronD.Marasco I've been out late on the 15th mailing mine because someone else was slow with a tax form (and at that I called and got the numbers, the actual form showed up a couple of days later.) – Loren Pechtel Mar 19 '15 at 2:56
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    @littleadv I believe that only applies IF you send it via the USPS. If you sent it via FedEx, UPS, or some other carrier, it must be received by the 15th – Kevin Apr 15 '19 at 19:27
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  1. Do not send multiple tax documents in one envelope. This is a Bad Idea. You run significant risks that they only pick up one of the two.

  2. Send it via e-filing if possible. This way you know they get it.

  3. If you must send it via US Mail, send it well ahead of time (why not send it this weekend!). Then you can get an update from the IRS that they got it well ahead of the deadline.

  4. If you must send it near the deadline, you can get it sent certified mail if you're particularly concerned; that way, if it's lost, you can prove you sent it. Nowadays that's not very expensive.

This question also has several good pointers here.

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    -1 for #3. US Mail should always be certified, and you can send it even at 11:59pm on April 15th and it will still be on-time (in fact in many places post offices are open on April 15th until midnight for that very reason). – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 5:26
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    Why do you need it to be certified if you send it March 1? They'll receive it well ahead of time and you won't have to worry about it; and if they don't receive it by close to April 15, you can re-send certified. – Joe Mar 18 '15 at 14:00
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    Because sending it certified is the only way to have proof that you mailed it. You don't always get to see them postmark it. What if the envelope literally falls through the cracks? – Snowbody Mar 18 '15 at 14:25
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    My previous comment addressed that. – Joe Mar 18 '15 at 14:26
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    @Joe how do you know they received it? What if they claim that the refund you got was due to SFR? Due to a mistake because they transposed SSNs on someone else's return? Because they feel like claiming you didn't send it? – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 15:57
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Note that a proof of mailing only asserts that you sent an envelope - nothing more. There was a court case in which the payer was fined for not sending in his return. He showed a certificate of mailing - which the IRS acknowledge that they signed for an envelope, but they denied receiving the return. He offered to help search the facility which was of course refused so he had no way to prove they received his return.

I don't know how the final judgement and appeals went. Moral - send electronic if possible and make sure you get the electronic confirmation. Else send hard copy early - make extra copies for yourself. Get a certificate of mailing to show "good faith", but don't depend on it to save you. Save your check register or credit card statement to show they billed you (that would prove they processed your return.)

Here's a link to a discussion of this issue http://www.traderstatus.com/TimelyMailed.htm. Note that there is a proposal to accept certified or registered mail as proof of timely filing.

  • You may be confusing two different services. Certificate of mailing is a proof that you sent a letter, but doesn't require a signature from the recipient, so offers no proof that the letter was delivered or received. Certified mail has the option to require a signature from the recipient, which provides some proof that the letter was delivered and received. See usps.com/ship/insurance-extra-services.htm for details. Of course, neither of these gives any proof that your envelope actually contained your tax return. – Nate Eldredge Mar 18 '15 at 15:01
  • Burden of proof that the envelope is empty is on IRS, the taxpayer only has to show that the envelope was sent. In this case this will be considered a fraudulent return (see IRM) and the taxpayer will be treated accordingly. – littleadv Mar 18 '15 at 16:01

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