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Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-13-2007, 11:22 AM   #1
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Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I mailed in my taxes today. I simultaneously got confirmation of delivery, saved money, saved time, and launched a small salvo in the war to get the IRS to allow free e-filng for everyone.

- I was initially going to send my forms in using UPS--no dice, as the Ohio forms go to a PO box. When I went to the post office (intending to send the packages via registered mail, per the instructions in TaxCut) I saw a very big line and two postal workers working at approx 40% max speed. Here's the way around this probem, IF your post office has one of those little self-serve kiosk machines with a scale. (I'm working from memory here, but I think the steps are close).
1) Bring to the post office: Your returns (state and federal), two 9" x 12" envelopes, a few scrap pieces of bond paper, and money for postage.
2) Put your returns in a full page size envelope (approx 9" x 12"). DO NOT SEAL IT UP.
3) Go to the automated machine and press the button for "Mail a large envelope" (they give dimmensions on the screen--your full page envelope qualifies)
4) Select "First Class Postage" (You don't really care how long it takes to get to the IRS, just that it is postmarked on or before 17 April)
5) Select "I want Delivery Confirmation." (this costs 60 cents)
6) Type in the zip code you are mailing to.
7 ) There will be a screen that warns you that the options you've selected are only appropriate if the package exceeds 3/4" in thickness. Select "Okay." That is what the scrap bond paper is for: Wad up a few pieces and jam them into the envelope. If you want, write on them: IRS: Please discard: this packaging is included to meet the USPS arbitrary 3/4" thickness requirement."
8 ) The machine will print out a big label with the postage on it and the delivery confirmation number. Stick this on the front of the envelope. You'll also get a receipt for same-- hold onto that.
9) Now that everything has worked for you, seal up the envelope and drop it into the slot for "metered mail"
10) If required, repeat the steps for your state return.

My total cost for mailing my federal return was $1.63. I have confirmation that I mailed a package to the IRS's zip+4, which is exactly what I'd have had if I sent it certified mail. I didn't have to wait in a line. I also know that the right amount of postage was on the envelope (no trying to guess how many stamps to put on it). And, if a lot of folks do this, maybe the IRS will get sick of throwing away wads of paper and facilitate free e-filing for all Americans.

Hope that saves someone some time and money, and maybe starts a revolution. In the words of Arlo--hum a few bars and then walk out.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-13-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

samclem,

Well, I did stand in line and it cost me a bit more for certified, but the line wasn't as long! Good thinking on your part :-)

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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-13-2007, 11:01 PM   #3
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

Am I the only person who does not send their tax returns certified?
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 12:16 AM   #4
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I have just tossed mine in the corner mailbox for 28 years - never any problems.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 12:52 AM   #5
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I send my 1040 via plain old air mail, but I send them their money via EFTPS. So far, they haven't complained, and even if the return gets lost in the mail, I'm sure they'd be happy just to get the money.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 07:31 AM   #6
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

Put my forms in a plain security envelope put a stamp on it gave it to the postman he looked at it and said yep ONE stamp! .39cents.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

Our company CPA firm always recommended mailing our corp tax returns via certified mail and I did. But I have never done that on my personal tax returns and haven't had a problem.

Dropped mine off at the drive through mail bin yesterday with check enclosed. :P
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy888
Put my forms in a plain security envelope put a stamp on it gave it to the postman he looked at it and said yep ONE stamp! .39cents.

I just checked the IRS website and I have an offical confirmation that they recieved my return and my refund will be sent by may 22nd.

Neat only .39 cents to mail it there. By the way it was not so hard to do my taxes. I have been doing it on paper forever and heck just follow the steps.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-14-2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I usually don't send certified mail, just whatever postage necessary to get it there first class, but this time there was a big check in there, so I sent it certified. I'm not good at giving interest free loans to any government.

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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-15-2007, 04:27 AM   #10
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I didn't send it certified since I will be getting money back. Otherwise, I might have. I am amazed that people don't mind spending $30 for efiling state and local when they could just print out the forms and drop in into a mailbox for less than $1.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-15-2007, 10:38 AM   #11
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I'm thinking about taking a digital picture of the State and Fed TR. With the postage meter stamp. Not 100% sure this would hold up. The lines at our PO were very long Fri and Sat. I like Samclems idea on the kiosk.

About 2-3 years ago the State claimed we were late filed. Pulled out the Registered mail stamp and they relented. I guess there were a bunch of returns the State "claimed" were late. I suspect it was a combination of the State being slow in entering returns (not in cashing checks though) and a revenue enhancement tool.
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-15-2007, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor
I have just tossed mine in the corner mailbox for 28 years - never any problems.
Ditto that !
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return
Old 04-15-2007, 06:54 PM   #13
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Re: Save money and time when you mail in your tax return

I just put it in the corner mailbox, but since it's usually too heavy for standard postage, I throw on a bunch of those weirdo stamps I seem to have accumulated over the years. What's a stamp with a capital A worth? I doubt anybody is going to take the time to figure it out. I try not to include s & h and top value stamps, but I have been known to put an easter seal or two on the back.
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