Tax season is upon us! In 2021, the IRS extended the filing deadline to May 15th, which means that we’ve been getting asked more often than usual whether or not you can ship tax documents to the IRS. While you can technically send tax documents via a USPS shipping service like Priority Mail, the most appropriate way to get them to the IRS is via Certified Mail.
The IRS Prefers You Send Tax Documents via Certified Mail, and Not Ship Them
For all intents and purposes, Certified Mail is similar to First Class Mail. However, the main difference is that when you purchase Certified Mail, USPS assigns your letter a tracking number. This way, you can track the letter the same way you can track a package on the USPS website! Since these letters come fully tracked, the IRS relies on Certified Mail for receiving tax documents and payments.
Now, the IRS won’t refuse any envelopes containing tax documents that you ship to them via another service like a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope. However, it’s important to keep in mind that all of the IRS collection points are PO Boxes at Post Offices. If they receive an influx of larger envelopes and poly mailers, those PO Boxes tend to fill up pretty fast. Makes sense, right?
What About Sending Passports or Other Government Documents?
Other government documents like passports are a different story. Generally, you want to opt for the quickest and most secure shipping service when sending or receiving a passport. For USPS, this is Priority Mail Express Service, which features overnight delivery (in most cases) and a full money-back guarantee.
If you’re really in a bind and can spare the extra cash, FedEx overnight service is an even better option. This is often what private passport and visa expeditors suggest when you need a passport processed and issued back to you quickly.