In addition to filing electronically, paper tax returns can be filed by mailing them. These returns must be completed by following the instructions on the forms. Once completed, paper returns must be sent with the correct W-2 and other required income statements and forms. You can also mail them to your state’s mailing address. Before 1986, when the IRS introduced the electronic filing option, it was necessary to mail paper returns to the IRS.
Filing paper returns used to be a hassle. In the past, April 15 was the worst day of the year to visit the post office. People would queue for hours to get their envelopes postmarked (the postmark proves that the envelope was sent). And in some cases, they paid extra to purchase a special label to make their mailing more appealing. However, today, the IRS offers electronic filing, or e-filing, for taxpayers who prefer not to leave the comfort of their homes.
Many taxpayers don’t realize that the IRS is so buried in paper that they can’t file their tax returns on time. While this is true, the COVID-19 shutdowns shook the IRS system. Then, the influx of tax returns caused the IRS to be overwhelmed. This triggered a backlog of paper tax returns. This means that e-filing may be the best choice for those who want a faster refund.
What address do I send my taxes to?
Depending on where you live and how much your return is paid, the IRS may have a different address for you to mail your federal tax forms to. If you live outside the United States, you may be eligible for an FPO or APO address. These are accepted by the IRS. If you are a dual-status foreign or live in a foreign country, you should also use an address in the country you live in.
The IRS has many different mailing addresses depending on your location and the type of mail you’re sending. Luckily, their Where to File page includes links to each state’s IRS offices. You can choose one for the return you’re sending, or use the one that best fits your mailing preferences. Whether or not you’re submitting your return and payment to the IRS will affect the mailing address you’ll receive.
When sending paper tax returns to the IRS, it’s important to remember to use a secure method. Postmarks can vary widely. Make sure the postmark is correct and that you have sufficient postage. You may want to mail the return early to ensure it arrives on time. Certified and registered mail also require a certificate of mailing. Make sure to verify the postmark date and address before mailing; the post office may not keep copies of the certificates.