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Can I use Fed Ex or UPS with the IRS 

How to ship your tax return

The Post Office has become increasingly frustrating to deal with:  long lines, the 13 ounce rule, lack of convenient postal drop boxes, lost mail and the aggravation of dealing with obnoxious government postal clerks.  Having the peace of mind of knowing your tax returns, documents and payments arrive timely with the IRS is priceless.

Can you use Fed Ex or UPS for deliveries to the IRS?  Timely mailed is treated as timely filing and paying under the Internal Revenue Code.  IRC 7502(f)…this section provides guidance:

“Treatment of Private Delivery Services

(1)   In general

Any reference in this section to the United States mail shall be treated as including a reference to any designated delivery service, and any reference in this section to a postmark by the United States Postal Service shall be treated as including a reference to any date recorded or marked as described in paragraph (2)© by any designated delivery service.

(2)   Designated Delivery Service

For purposes of this subsection, the term “designated delivery service” means any delivery service provided by a trade or business if such service is designated by the Secretary for purposes of this section.  The Secretary may designate a delivery service under the preceding sentence only if the Secretary determines that such service –

(a)   Is available to the general public

(b)   Is at least as timely and reliable on a regular basis as the United States mail,

(c)    Records electronically to its data base, kept in the regular course of its business, or marks on the cover in which any item referred to in this section is to be delivered, the date on which such item was given to such trade or business, and

(d)   Meets such other criteria as the Secretary may prescribe.

(3)    Equivalents of registered and certified mail

The Secretary may provide a rule similar to the rule of paragraph (1) with respect to any service provided by a designated delivery service which is substantially equivalent to United States registered or certified mail.

Yes, a Taxpayer may use Fed Ex or UPS to deliver tax returns, documents or payments to the IRS.  Meeting the threshold of “as timely and reliable…as United States mail is a low one;  both private delivery services far exceed it.  Both delivery services keep excellent data bases of tracked deliveries – something the IRS does not on first class mail.



Dana M. Ronald

Tax Crisis Institute