We are certain the returns were mailed on the deadline day but unfortunately have no way to prove it. So the IRS has issued late-filing penalties saying the returns were filed up to 2 weeks after we mailed them in.
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I too live in a small town.
And I don't believe that is legal.
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I'm glad I don't have any of those
Or should I say, I wish I didn't have any of those?
I always use Priority Mail, especially since the Certified mail and private carriers have a special address for delivery. If you set up an online acct. at USPS, Priority Mail provides free delivery confirmation, ins. value up to $50 also free. You can create an address book, pay online & drop off or schedule a free pickup. Then you have step by step tracking & delivery information to print and put in the Client's file.
I use this method for all amended returns and any original returns that ProSeries has not provided the forms to make e-filing possible. You can put as much as will fit and still close, into the Flat rate envelope for $7.35. You should definitely use separate, sealed envelopes for each client return, but you can get 3 or 4 to fit into one Priority envelope.
Always file an extension when it's close to the due date and never believe your clients did anything they are suppose to do in a timely manner. I won't let my clients mail any type of return themselves, just to avoid this type of issue.
You say return"s". How many returns did you mail and did you mail them in one big envelope? If you mailed them separately and they are all showing up late, you might have a tougher problem getting out of the penalty than if you were dealing with one return. This is a good example of why I don't like mailing returns for clients. Let the client mail and at least you are off the hook. I'm not sure if there was a reason you had to paper file the returns, but this is a good example of why e-filing is the preferable route to go with anything that can possibly go that route. In a worse case scenario, at least e-filing an extension to allow some room for error couldn't hurt.
We make it a point to highlight that only USPS certified mail and approved PDS should be used and that they should retain the receipts on their records as proof of timely filing.
Still an AllStar