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Meanwhile, thanks for the tip about the certificate of mailing. I guess that everything above 37 cents (or whatever) involves a sort of risk/reward analysis, when you come down to it. And I assume that the percentage of nondelivered returns is pretty low when the total volume is considered. Perhaps you or somebody knows the actual numbers...

I don't know the actual number/percentage of nondelivered returns although I agree it must be very low, but the taxpayer is on the wrong side of the equation here. An insurance company can use the odds in its favor, recognizing that it will lose money on some policies, but make money on most. The taxpayer has one return, either it's delivered on time or it's not.

While I don't know the numbers of undelivered returns, I do recall there was a major problem at the Pittsburgh lockbox address in 2001 where workers trashed tens of thousands of payment vouchers and checks without ever opening them (estimates were 40,000 returns and $810 million in payments). Maybe I'm overly cautious, but it seems like $4.05 (for certified mail, return receipt) is a very inexpensive insurance policy.

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