April 15, 2019, is the federal deadline for filing your 2018 taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unless you apply for an extension – allowing you to file any time up to October 15, 2019 – your tax documents need to be on their way to the IRS on or before 11:59 pm on April 15. While most people do not file paper returns, some still do. If you have yet to file your taxes and want to make sure the post office will be ready to accept your return on tax day, here is a look at the post office hours on ax day.
Post Office Hours on Tax Day
The post office maintains its regular schedule on tax day. For most locations, the post office is open starting at some point between 8:00 am and 8:30 am and are open until 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm.
The exact schedule varies by location, and those details are available on the USPS website. During the listed hours, post office staff are available to assist customers. This includes accepting a filer’s tax return and ensuring the envelope is postmarked before the deadline.
Additionally, some post offices will open later on tax day, providing filers with additional time to drop off their returns. But one of the only ways to find out if your location will have extended hours is to contact your post office directly.
In some cases, local newspapers will also publish details about extended post office hours on tax day. However, this may be dependent on them being available in your area, as not all locations adjust their schedule.
It is important to note that some locations are always open longer than the typical schedule. For instance, a couple of post offices in Miami are open from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you aren’t sure when your post office is usually open, then make sure to check the USPS website or contact your location directly.
Mailing Tips for Federal Tax Returns
If you are filing by mail, getting your federal tax return to the post office before the 11:59 pm deadline on April 15 is critical. Otherwise, your return is considered late, and you could be stuck with a penalty if you did not request an extension.
There are also other things you need to do to make sure your return can reach its destination. Make sure you check the IRS website and get the proper address. The address you need to use depends on your state of residence. Plus, there are different addresses for people who are and are not sending a payment with their return.
You also need to make sure you have the right amount of postage. If you don’t use enough postage, your tax return will be sent back to you instead of to the IRS. That will cause your return to be late and can lead to a penalty.
If you are not sure if you have enough postage, then it is best to drop your return off inside the post office with an employee. They can weigh your return and make sure you have the proper amount of postage. If you don’t, then you can pay for more while you are there, ensuring your return can head on its way.
While it isn’t required, you may also want to pay for certain additional mailing services for your tax return. For example, a return receipt lets you know who signed for the delivery of your return while the Certified Mail Service confirms delivery and who signed for it. A Certificate of Mailing Service gives you proof that put your return in the mail on time.
Postmarked by 11:59 pm
As long as your return is postmarked by 11:59 pm on April 15, you do not need to worry about how fast your return arrives. While you can choose to send your return with expedited delivery (and get a tracking number too), it is okay if you choose to let your documents make their way using the standard delivery schedule. As long as your postmark is before the cutoff time, your return isn’t late if it takes several days to reach its destination.
Ultimately, if you plan to mail a paper return on tax day, it is wise to contact your post office and confirm their hours. Additionally, consider some of the extra services that allow you to prove you were on time. That way, if your tax return gets lost in the mail, you have proof and can avoid any costly penalties.
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