Small Business Taxes & ManagementTM--Copyright 1999-2004, A/N Group, Inc.
In most cases the IRS considers 'timely mailing as timely filing'. That is, if the tax return, payment, election, etc. is mailed on or before the due date, the Service considers it filed on time, regardless of when it arrives. Prior to 1997, this rule only applied to the U.S. Postal Service. Thus, if you mailed your return by a private delivery service, the IRS considered it filed on time only if it arrived on time. Now, certain private delivery services are afforded the same status as the post office. The delivery services and the type of service are:
DHL Worldwide Express
United Parcel Service (UPS)
DHL Express (DHL)
Federal Express (FedEx)
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Airborne Express, Inc. (Airborne) is removed from the list due to the acquisition of Airborne by DHL Worldwide Express Inc. The combined entity operates solely under the trade name "DHL Express." DHL, FedEx, and UPS are not designated with respect to any type of delivery service not identified above.
Special Rules for Determining Postmark Date:
Notice 97-26 is modified to provide new rules for determining the postmark date under section 7502 of the Code, for items delivered by FedEx International Priority and FedEx International First. Under Notice 97-26, FedEx applied an electronically generated label indicating the date on which each item was given to FedEx for delivery. For FedEx International Priority and FedEx International First, however, FedEx will either apply a label indicating the item was received for delivery or will electronically record the date in FedEx's database.
If FedEx applies a label to the cover of an item received for delivery through FedEx International Priority or FedEx International First, then the same rules for determining the postmark date as provided in Notice 97-26 apply to determine the postmark date of the item. If FedEx records the date in its electronic database, the date so recorded is treated as the postmark date. The same rules from Notice 97-26 regarding the presumption of the postmark date and the taxpayer's burden in overcoming that presumption apply to items delivered by FedEx International Priority and FedEx International First for which there is no label indicating the date received.
Only the enumerated services for each carrier qualifies for this special rule.
You may still want to use the postal service. If you're called on to prove the date of mailing, you may have a problem. First, most of the services have only agreed to store the date of mailing electronically for 6 months. You probably won't be called on to prove the date you mailed the item until much later. You can get confirmation from the delivery service, but you must generally request it. Alternatively, you can use the receipt issued by the delivery service. However, that may only be available if you go to one of their delivery centers. Check with the delivery service on their policy. Obtaining a proof of mailing from the U.S. Postal Service may be more convenient.
Copyright 1999-2004 by A/N Group, Inc. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The information is not necessarily a complete
summary of all materials on the subject.--ISSN 1089-1536
--Last update 12/28/04