- Days left

What's the Best Way to Get My Tax Return to the IRS?

Tax Day is coming a little later for taxpayers this year. Since April 15 falls on a holiday this year, taxpayers get the benefit of an extra day -- and the weekend -- pushing Tax Day to April 18.

To ensure that your tax return reaches the IRS safely, consider the following:

  1. E-file. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file when possible. With e-file, you'll receive an acknowledgment that your return was accepted -- no guesswork or waiting required.
  2. U.S. Mail. If you file a return on paper, you may be tempted to just drop your tax return in the mail. However, if you send your return by regular mail, you can't be assured that it was received by the IRS, so consider using registered or certified mail to file your tax returns. Not only can you easily trace your mail using these methods, the IRS considers registered or certified mail the best evidence that your return was timely filed. If you opt for U.S. Mail, note that the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas, so double check where to send your return by reading the instructions on your tax form.
  3. Private Delivery Services. You can also use private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the "timely mailing as timely filing/paying" rule for tax returns and payments. If necessary, you can contact the respective private delivery service to find how to get written proof of the mailing date. Otherwise, you can usually track delivery online so you can rest assured your returns have been delivered. Remember that private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes -- if you only have an IRS P.O box for delivery, you must use the U.S. Postal Service. Also be careful to use the private delivery services which have been approved by IRS. Those include only the following:
  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.
  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority and FedEx International First.
  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS NextDay Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
Make sure your tax returns make it safely to the IRS Plan ahead in order to avoid last-minute stress associated with rushing to the post office (or private delivery box) unprepared. It's important to note, for example, that postal rates for larger envelopes go up the day before tax returns are due, on April 17, though regular first class mail remains the same.

Of course, if you absolutely can't get your return together by the due date, consider filing for an extension. The same timely filing rules apply.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Are You Exempt From Health Care Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is an individual mandate that requires all eligible Americans to have some form of basic health coverage by 2014. Those without insurance will receive a penalty when they file their tax returns ? that is, unless they have an exemption. TurboTax's Exemption Check can help you find out whether or not you qualify for an exemption.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

Mortgage Refinance Tax Deductions

When refinancing a mortgage to get a lower interest rate or obtain more favorable loan terms, you're really just taking out a new loan and using the money to pay off your existing home loan. In general, the same tax deductions are available when you're refinancing a mortgage as when you're taking out a mortgage to buy a home.

How to Determine if You Have Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have health insurance that meets a government standard known as "minimum essential coverage," or MEC. Whether your insurance qualifies as MEC depends not on the plan itself, but on how you obtained your coverage.

Rental Property Deductions You Can Take at Tax Time

Rental property often offers larger deductions and tax benefits than most investments. Many of these are overlooked by landlords at tax time. This can make a difference in making a profit or losing money on your real estate venture. If you own a rental property, the IRS allows you to deduct expenses you pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, conserving and managing the property, and other expenses deemed necessary and associated with property rental.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

1 Comment

Filter by:
tony.oppedisano

I live in Europe and sent my 1040 + 2555EZ forms via registered mail to IRS in Austin, Texas. The receipt came back to me without date-stamp, signature or any indication that it was received at Austin. How can I confirm that it was properly received?
Thanks! Tony

June 07 2013 at 6:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply