Does The IRS Really Check Each Postmark For The April 15th Deadline?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Realty Works Temecula BRE No: 01233850

I researched this topic extensively because when I threw my returns into the mail box this evening at the Post Office on Rancho California Road here in Temecula I heard them hit bottom.   The time was 5:03 p.m. and the schedule on the box said last pick up was 5:00 p.m.

This means that the box was empty, or close to it.  There was a big line of cars in front of me and in back of me though.   Does the IRS have staff whose job it is to look at postmarks? Are they going to penalize all the returns mailed on April 16? I find this hard to believe.

This answer it the one that stopped my worries:  I found it on a Q and A somewhere about Tax Filing.......

For the first few days after April 15 the IRS is still getting truckloads of returns. An IRS spokesman candidly admits there's no way they can go through all that paperwork ferreting out schnooks who filed their returns 15 minutes or even a couple of days late.

I also found this:  Being a day or two late is no big deal, but the IRS figures a week or two is enough for even the most disorganized postal districts to get the mail where it's supposed to go. Then things start getting ugly. If you're late and you owe, the P&I clock begins ticking as of the postmark date.

Anybody have any personal experience with this????


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Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Jane ~ My dad is a CPA so April 15th is a holiday of sorts in my family.  I love going to the post office on the 15th - I've made many a midnight run over the years - it's like a party. The post offices stay open late and there are always lines. 

I've always gone to the post office to get returns cancelled by the postal clerk. Putting it in the mailbox would make me nervous.  I did it today but I stressed over it - needlessly since where I am we have until May 11th to file because of the recent flooding.  What you say makes sense but I have no clue how strict they are.


Apr 15, 2010 03:37 PM #1
Melissa Anderson
Mortgage of Texas & Financial - San Antonio, TX

Jane- I don't take any chances with the KGB aka the IRS.

If they want to they will find a way to penalize you for anything and everything.

You would be surprised that they can and will find an envelope dated 4/17/2010 and charge penalties and interest.

How can folks even prove they mailed it today????  They can't and the IRS knows this.

I still do not understand folks who wait till the last day.  Just file an extension, then you have till October to get your paperwork together if you have to.

Great post on Tax Day!!!

Apr 15, 2010 03:38 PM #2
Ruth Vogt
Fairway Independent Mortgage, LLS. Equal Housing Opportunity. Regulated by the Division of Real Estate. - Colorado Springs, CO
719-592-0855 Apply 24/7

Never even thought about the feasibility of IRS confirming postmarks. Guess I just didn't want to cause myself anymore stress besides the mere shock of what I pay in every year!

Apr 15, 2010 03:42 PM #3
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

You ladies are all a tad bit more organized than myself...However, I do have an excuse.  I had to take my son to the doctor as he has bronchitis really bad and traffic was you think the IRS will understand?

Apr 15, 2010 03:43 PM #4
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Hi Jane - I've filed online for about the last ten years. No traffic, no lines, and as long as I click the mouse before midnight, I'm OK.

Apr 15, 2010 03:55 PM #6
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

John:  I file separate but married and one cannot file that online for some reason?????

Apr 15, 2010 04:00 PM #7
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Hmmn . . . I don't think they would really do anything if it's postmarked the 16th.  What wouild be their reason for even caring?  They not going to go after anyone for a day in "late" taxes.  They can't hire enough staff.  I think the date is just drilled in us.  Personally, I wouldn't worry about it,  If they owe you, there's no penalty, and if you owe them, they'll be happy to have gotten that.

Apr 15, 2010 06:08 PM #8
Richard Strahm
RE/MAX Realty Group - Lansdale, PA - Lansdale, PA
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate

I was on time, but my sister called me yesterday -- she lives overseas.  She "forgot" about the 4/15 deadline, and could I please help her . . .  I got the paperwork in the post office box 20 minutes before the last pickup.  Whew!  Wish I had read this first . . .

Apr 15, 2010 11:02 PM #9
Samantha Davault
Alexander Chandler Realty - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX

Jane- I am glad to know that those 3 minutes shouldn't cause you a problem.  What would they do to penalize you anyway... charge you one day's worth of penalty and interest.

Apr 16, 2010 06:49 AM #10
Randy Hooker
Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area - Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek

Jane, I think you should be prepared to be thrown dierctly into the chokey, with no "get out of jail free" card. My wife used to work for the IRS, and I can assure you that common sense is non existent within the IRS. They live and operate by automated systems that cannot 'think' or 'reason'. So if you break one of their automated, detectable "rules", you will surely pay the price.

I know, it's been a long time. But I still love ya girl.   :)

Apr 17, 2010 04:01 PM #11
Dora & Vincent Kwok
HomeSmart Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
CNE - Chandler, Arizona Real Estate

Hi Jane,

Interesting topic...we've been filing for an extension for the last few years so our deadline is October 15...but then maybe its Oct 16 or 17th...


Apr 18, 2010 05:38 PM #12
Chris Fisher
Your Virtual Assistant - Concord, CA

Jane - I sure hope they are nice to you.  I have had a bad year with the IRS so I better not say anything because I may curse.  : )  I filed online just to be faster.  Good luck!

Apr 22, 2010 05:56 AM #13
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I have two friends who work in the IRS office in Austin, Texas. Indeed they do check the postmark, and if you owe taxes, they don't mind tacking on the penalty for filing late. I used to try to get them to cut me some slack, but they liked their jobs. It's obvious, too, since they now have been with the IRS there for over 30 years.

Apr 24, 2010 11:18 PM #14
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