Tax & Accounting Blog

Want Proof of Mailing to the IRS on Time?

1042-S, 1099, 6050W, Cost-Basis Reporting, Document and WorkFlow Management, Information Reporting for Wealth Management, International Reporting & Compliance, Tax Information Reporting, TIN Compliance, Trust Tax, US Income Tax Compliance, W-8 & W-9 Foreign Reporting, Withholding Management September 12, 2011

Don’t Rely on USPS First Class, Priority Mail or Delivery Confirmation Service

Did you know that the only ways to establish prima facie evidence of delivery of documents that have a filing deadline prescribed by the Internal Revenue laws are the delivery methods that are specifically authorized in the tax regulations for timely mailing as timely filing?

The regulations provide that certified mail and registered mail constitute prima facie evidence of delivery.  But, those are the only two types of United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery methods that meet those tax regulatory requirements.  USPS first-class mail does not establish evidence of timely mailing, and even the following USPS services do not establish evidence to meet regulatory specifications for proof of timely mailing: priority mail, certificate of mailing, express mail receipt, delivery confirmation receipt, or signature confirmation.  This doesn’t mean you can’t use those other methods of mailing to the IRS, but be mindful of the rule and consider whether prima facie evidence of delivery may be worth having in your records.       

The IRS has received comments expressing concern that certified and registered mail services are expensive and inconvenient in comparison to first class mail.  The IRS points out, however, that the Treasury Department and IRS cannot create regulations extending the rule for prima facie evidence of delivery to include first class mail unless the tax law underlying the rule is amended to enable such a regulation.

Some private delivery services are also specifically authorized as means of prima facie evidence of delivery.  They are:  DHL Same Day Service, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.