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me: If the envelope arrives at the IRS empty, the burden of proof switches to the IRS. They have to prove that you didn't actually include a return or payment in the envelope.

dsemmler: Delurk in progress...

Is that true? Not that I am questioning you because I really know squat about this but it would seem if that were true, more people would try and find a way to mail an empty/damaged envelope via certified mail and put the burden of proof on the IRS.


Here's the source material:

Sec. 7502. - Timely mailing treated as timely filing and paying
(a) General rule
(1) Date of delivery
If any return, claim, statement, or other document required to be filed, or any payment required to be made, within a prescribed period or on or before a prescribed date under authority of any provision of the internal revenue laws is, after such period or such date, delivered by United States mail to the agency, officer, or office with which such return, claim, statement, or other document is required to be filed, or to which such payment is required to be made, the date of the United States postmark stamped on the cover in which such return, claim, statement, or other document, or payment, is mailed shall be deemed to be the date of delivery or the date of payment, as the case may be.

(2) Mailing requirements
This subsection shall apply only if -
(A) the postmark date falls within the prescribed period or on or before the prescribed date -
(i) for the filing (including any extension granted for such filing) of the return, claim, statement, or other document, or
(ii) for making the payment (including any extension granted for making such payment), and
(B) the return, claim, statement, or other document, or payment was, within the time prescribed in subparagraph (A), deposited in the mail in the United States in an envelope or other appropriate wrapper, postage prepaid, properly addressed to the agency, officer, or office with which the return, claim, statement, or other document is required to be filed, or to which such payment is required to be made.

(b) Postmarks
This section shall apply in the case of postmarks not made by the United States Postal Service only if and to the extent provided by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(c) Registered and certified mailing; electronic filing
(1) Registered mail
For purposes of this section, if any return, claim, statement, or other document, or payment, is sent by United States registered mail -
(A) such registration shall be prima facie evidence that the return, claim, statement, or other document was delivered to the agency, officer, or office to which addressed; and
(B) the date of registration shall be deemed the postmark date.
(2) Certified mail; electronic filing
The Secretary is authorized to provide by regulations the extent to which the provisions of paragraph (1) with respect to prima facie evidence of delivery and the postmark date shall apply to certified mail and electronic filing.

[remainder snipped]

Interpretation: 7502(a)(1) states that postmark establishes filing date if document delivered to IRS.
7502(c)(1) states that registration date is prima facie evidence that document was delivered.
7502(c)(2) extends this coverage to certified mail and electronic filing through regulations to be issued by Secretary of Treasury.

The regulations (301.7502-1(c)(2)) state that registered and certified mail are equivalent with regard to establishing filing date.

Hope this helps explain things.

Ira
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