Proof of mailing confusion

April 15, 2009 3:11:14 PM PDT
New machines are creating some confusion and could get you in trouble with Uncle Sam. The self service kiosks, known as Automated Postal Centers are at five of Raleigh's 18 post offices. And as technology improves, more mail stations are getting APC's all the time.

The catch is APC's spit out postage stamps with official looking dates.

"Here's a date from postage generated by that kiosk, from the APC, Automated Postal Centers," Raleigh Postmaster Howard Sample said. "It's the date you paid for the postage. It is not proof of mailing."

Sample says the date is not proof of mailing, meaning it is not a postmark.

"IRS wants proof of mailing and it has to indicate it was mailed prior to April 15, or on April 15," he said.

The possible confusion is that the APC's are usually placed in post offices with lobbies which are always open, even after the local mail has already left for the day.

If tax-payers buy a kiosk stamp which says April 15, then toss the return in the mail box which is not picked up until the April16, their return will be late.

"I'm sure there will be a few people who make that mistake, but that's why we place placards above the kiosks," Sample said. "You have to deposit prior to the last pickup."

For those who cannot get to a post office which is still collecting mail, the IRS wants to remind people they can file by computer up until 11:59 p.m.


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