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The other best way to prove you filed early is to use electronic filing. Your Check still goes through the mail, although some banks allow electronic filing of that also, but you have a paper trail.

Actually, that may not work. There has been considerable discussion amongst tax professionals as to whether the IRS's electronic acknowledgement meets the requirements of proof of filing. If I recall correctly, the consensus was that the acknowledgement does not have the same standing as a certified mail filing, but since the issue was as yet untested in the courts, it was not likely the IRS would try to establish the position that the acknowledgement was not proof of filing.
(backlash against IRS efforts to encourage efiling).

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