Tax Day Tips from the Post Office

With the deadline for filing tax returns rapidly approaching, the United States Postal Service reminds last-minute filers to pay special attention to collection box pick-up times and Post Office retail hours. Most Post Offices close at 5 p.m. and many collection box pick-up times are earlier. Post Office and collection box location, hours, and pick-up time information is available at 1-800-ASK-USPS or online at http://usps.whitepages.com/post_office. Taxpayers have an extra weekend to file this year because of a District of Columbia holiday. The deadline for 2011 is Monday April 18, instead of April 15. “Tax filers need that April 18th postmark to comply with state and federal filing mandates,” said Marketing Manager Laura Lewis. “Waiting until the 11th hour on the 18th to file is less of an option for those needing forms, postage, and a timely postmark. Therefore, customers are advised to mail early.” Here are some other tax tips: * On April 18, mail early in the day at any Post Office, station, branch or collection box. * If depositing returns in a collection box on Monday, April 18, double-check the pick-up schedule on the label. To ensure getting the April 18th postmark, please deposit returns before the last scheduled pick-up time. * Stamped packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented in person to a Post Office clerk to comply with FAA regulations. * Make sure your return is signed and dated and all schedules and supporting documents are enclosed. * Affix the appropriate postage, especially since the item may weigh more than an ounce. Have a postal Sales and Service Associate weigh and rate the item for you. Tax agencies will not pay postage due and your short-paid return will be returned to sender – and you may miss the deadline (tip: 5 pages equals approximately one ounce). This is especially important if mailing after April 17, 2011 when price changes for the additional ounce and special services will be in effect. * Furthermore, it is very important that your envelope has a return address. Short-paid items without a return address will be sent to the postal mail recovery office for determination of the sender, delaying its return. * The USPS highly recommends getting the security of proof of mailing and proof of delivery of your tax returns — use certified mail service with a return receipt, plus the applicable postage. * Tax forms are no longer available at Post Offices. Check at local libraries or online at http://www.irs.gov/ (Federal forms) or http://www.tax.state.ny.us/forms/ (NYS forms). Please remember that mail must be deposited before the last collection time at the post office, APC or collection box on April 18 to receive an April 18th postmark.

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