It’s Tax Filing Season Again—Avoid the Post Office

Tax Planning

If you have to file a paper document with the IRS and you want to absolutely avoid delivery problems, you need to do one of two things:

Mail your document on or before the due date, using registered or certified mail.

Send your document on or before the due date to the correct address using an IRS-approved

delivery service.

Registered or Certified Mail

Your use of registered or certified mail deems that the documents are filed on the postmark date. This is a good thing. It avoids trouble and penalties.

The bad thing is that you have to go to the post office and stand in line to get this done.

Private Delivery Service

With a private delivery service, you can skip the line by having the document picked up at your home or office.

For this to happen, you need a delivery address for the document. You can spend time muddling around the IRS instructions and website looking for the correct service center and street address, or you can save time and hassle by clicking here for instant access to addresses and service centers.

Once you have the correct service center and address, you need to pick a delivery service that qualifies, under IRS rules, for “timely mailed, timely filed” treatment—just as registered and certified mail do. Here’s the list of qualifying services:

DHL Express

1. DHL Express 9:00

2. DHL Express 10:30

3. DHL Express 12:00

4. DHL Express Worldwide

5. DHL Express Envelope

6. DHL Import Express 10:30

7. DHL Import Express 12:00

8. DHL Import Express Worldwide


1. FedEx First Overnight

2. FedEx Priority Overnight

3. FedEx Standard Overnight

4. FedEx 2 Day

5. FedEx International Next Flight Out

6. FedEx International Priority

7. FedEx International First

8. FedEx International Economy


1. UPS Next Day Air Early A.M.

2. UPS Next Day Air

3. UPS Next Day Air Saver

4. UPS 2nd Day Air

5. UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.

6. UPS Worldwide Express Plus

7. UPS Worldwide Express

As the IRS warns in Notice 2016-30, you need to use one of the services above to qualify for the timely mailed, timely filed treatment.

Best Option If Available

When the electronic filing option is available, it’s a great way to file documents because the date of the electronic postmark is deemed the date of filing. Thus, the IRS deems the document filed if the electronic postmark date is on or before the filing date.


To avoid IRS trouble, make sure to file your tax documents using one of the following options:

  1. Certified or registered U.S. mail
  2. An IRS-approved delivery service (and make sure to use the correct physical address and service center—which you can find by clicking here)
  3. Electronic filing

Christopher Ragain

My name is Christopher Ragain, I am the founder of Tax Planner Pro.  I love helping small business owners find creative and legal ways to beat the TaxMan.  My team and I love to write and you can find all of our insights on this blog!

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