Have you ever needed to ensure a document was delivered to the IRS on or before a specific date? How can you prove it? Final regulations address the matter.
The IRS has issued final regulations providing ways to establish evidence of delivery of documents that have filing deadlines prescribed by internal revenue laws when direct proof of actual delivery is absent. The regulations are effective August 23 and apply to any payment or document mailed or delivered in accordance with the regulations in an envelope with a postmark dated after Sept. 21, 2004 (not a misprint – 2004).
According to the regulations, proper use of registered or certified mail or a service of a private delivery service will constitute prima facie evidence of delivery of documents. The final regulations are in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking issued in 2004, thus the retroactive applicability.
According to the announcement, “These final regulations provide that, other than direct proof of actual delivery, proof of proper use of registered or certified mail (registered or certified mail sender's receipt), and proof of proper use of a PDS [private delivery service] duly designated under criteria established by the IRS, are the sole means to establish prima facie evidence of delivery of documents that have a filing deadline prescribed by the internal revenue laws.”
The announcement also stated that Section 7502 does not authorize the Treasury Department or IRS to adopt a rule that would permit priority mail or other services from the Postal Service beyond certified and registered mail to establish prima facie evidence. Legislation would be needed to make this authorization. Therefore, the IRS clarified that absent actual delivery first class mail without additional service provides nothing to establish proof of delivery.