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Anyone else been receiving penalties for late filing for paperfiled returns that were mailed on the due date?

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Level 1

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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Level 15

Reply explaiing in detail how you are certain they were timely mailed and beg for abatement of the penalty.It might be granted  In the future, send by certified mail return receipt requested.


ex-AllStar

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Level 15
Level 15
When did the checks clear that were sent with the paper filed returns?

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 1
two of the returns were Sub-S returns so no checks.  But the individual return was mailed April 15th and the check cleared the bank on May 1st.
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Level 15
Out of curiosity, when does your local post office cutoff mailing of returns?  Were they put in the big blue Post Office box before the end of the day but because the truck already left for the next town, they were post marked the next day?
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 15
Level 15
The S-Corp returns were due in mid March, aren't they?  So it happened with them and individual returns mailed in mid April too?

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 1
Yes the S-Corp returns were mailed in Mid March and the one individual return was mailed on April 15th by the client who lives out of state in North Carolina.
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Level 1
IRonMaN - The returns were put inside the post office while the post office was still open and before the truck came for the day and theoretically should have left town that day.  The post office in our small town has told us, though, that it no longer time stamps any mail at our location.  Rather, it is sent to a processing center 120 miles away for processing.  So it is hard to tell what the post mark might have been.  Unfortunately, we did not know this fact until after we inquired.
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Level 15
I'd have a conversation with the Post Master.....
I too live in a small town.
And I don't believe that is legal.
Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
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Level 15
Our stagecoach leaves town at 11:45 am and travels to St Paul for processing.  I would never take any chances with mail leaving after that time as being dated as today's mail.  We do use a postage meter though, so at least I have my own date on it ----------------- not that the IRS necessarily cares.  
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 15
Level 15
Sounds like your post office isn't holding up their end of the deal very timely.....why are you not E-filing these "last day" returns?

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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These are returns that are not e-file eligible because they have some obscure forms that are not supported by ProSeries.  That and we just have some clients that always wait until the last minute to bring us their info or they would have been mailed in long before the due date.
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Level 15
"we just have some clients that always wait until the last minute to bring us their info"

I'm glad I don't have any of those :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Or should I say, I wish I didn't have any of those?
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 15
Level 15
Extend, why risk a due date mailing.

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 8
Our post office is the same way...all mail is cancelled in Memphis.  SO, on important dates, I go in, and make(and watch) the clerk hand-cancel  the items i am mailing
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Level 15

Reply explaiing in detail how you are certain they were timely mailed and beg for abatement of the penalty.It might be granted  In the future, send by certified mail return receipt requested.


ex-AllStar

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Level 1
Thank you and yes we usually do send by certified mail but for whatever reason it was not done this time around.  We will be writing a letter to see if we can get the penalty abated.  
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Level 7

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.

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Level 12

For the future:

(1) Tell your clients that YOUR due date is April 1st.

(2) Anything that is not finished by April 10th (including e-filing or mailing), e-file an extension.

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Level 15

One more reason to embrace e-file. 


ex-AllStar
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Level 15
Level 15
sometimes they just cant be Efiled, but if you're down to the wire on the last filing day, Efile an extension on the due date to CYA then mail the actual return.

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 15
:+1::+1:

ex-AllStar
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Level 15

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.

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 1
We did mail two returns in one big envelope.  The client mailed in the individual return themselves but I spoke to them personally on April 15th because they lived out of state and we had had issues getting the returns to them.  They assured me that they had the returns in the mail that day and I believe them.  These were returns that were unable to be efiled due to forms that were not supported by ProSeries.
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Level 15
Clients are generally not aware of the potential tax consequence of filing paper returns by means that do not provide proof of mailing acceptable to the IRS.

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.
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Still an AllStar
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Level 15
Two returns in one envelope has the danger of (a) being stapled together when they arrive and IRS and (b) only one of them being processed. If you elect to do this again, but each in a separate envelope and put the two envelopes in one big envelope, or even better - mail each separately. Envelopes are much cheaper than all the grief you are currently experiencing.

ex-AllStar
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