Postal Service tax filing advice: Mail tax forms early!

GREATER BUFFALO/NIAGARA – With the deadline for filing tax returns rapidly approaching, the United States Postal Service reminds last-minute filers to pay special attention to collection box pick-up times and Post Office retail hours.

Most Post Offices close at 5 p.m. and many collection box pick-up times are earlier. Post Office, Self Service Kiosks and collection box location, hours, and pick-up time information is available at 1-800-ASK-USPS or online at usps.com.

Offices with extended hours include:

Buffalo Cayuga Branch Post Office, 285 Cayuga Rd, Cheektowaga, full retail service and April 15 postmark available until midnight.

Buffalo Main Office Windows, 1200 William St, Buffalo, full retail service until 6 p.m.

Here are some other tax tips:

On April 15, mail early in the day at any Post Office, station, branch or collection box.

If depositing returns in a collection box on Monday, April 15, double-check the pick-up schedule on the label. To ensure getting the April 15th postmark, deposit returns before the last scheduled pick-up time.

Stamped packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented in person to a Post Office clerk to comply with FAA regulations.

Make sure your return is signed and dated and all schedules and supporting documents are enclosed.

Affix the appropriate postage, especially since the item may weigh more than an ounce. Have a postal sales and service associate weigh and rate the item for you. Tax agencies will not pay postage due and your short-paid return will be returned to sender – and you may miss the deadline (tip: 5 pages equals approximately one ounce).

Furthermore, it is very important that your envelope has a return address. Short-paid items without a return address will be sent to the postal mail recovery office for determination of the sender, delaying its return.

The USPS highly recommends getting the security of proof of mailing and proof of delivery of your tax returns – use certified mail service with a return receipt, plus the applicable postage.

Tax forms are no longer available at Post Offices. Check at local libraries or online at www.irs.gov/ (Federal forms) or www.tax.state.ny.us/forms/ (NYS forms).

Please remember that mail must be deposited before the last collection time at the post office or collection box on April 15 to receive an April 15th postmark.

The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses; it relies entirely on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.