With the deadline for filing tax returns fast approaching, the U.S. Postal Service reminds last-minute tax filers to pay special attention to collection box pick-up times and Post Office retail hours. The tax deadline for 2011 is Tuesday, April 17.
Two Lexington Post Offices offer later operating hours:
• Bluegrass Station, 3525 Lansdowne Drive, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Main Post Office, 1088 Nandino Boulevard, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Other local Post Offices close at 5 p.m. and many collection box pick-up times are earlier. Post Office, CPU, and collection box information is available at 1-800-ASK-USPS or online at http://usps.whitepages.com/post_office.
Here are some other tax tips:
• If mailing from a street-collection box, check the last pickup time to make sure your return will be collected that day. The latest collection time in Lexington is 8 PM at the Main Post Office, 1088 Nandino Blvd.
• Use pre-addressed labels where possible. Write clearly. Take special care to ensure that handwritten envelopes are legible. Include a return address.
• Use first-class postage — the Internal Revenue Service recognizes the first-class letter postmark as proof a return was mailed on time.
• Affix sufficient postage. One ounce is 45 cents, and 20 cents for each additional ounce — 2 ounces, 65 cents; 3 ounces, 85 cents, etc. Rule of thumb: Up to five sheets of 20-pound paper in a No. 10 envelope equals 1 ounce.
• Pay attention to thick or bulky items: For example, if a letter is over ¼ inch thick, it is considered a flat/large envelope and requires more postage; if an item is more than ¾ inch thick, it is considered a parcel and could require additional postage.
• Make certain bulky envelopes are securely sealed
• The IRS does not accept postage-due mail even if it has the April 17 postmark; tax returns bearing insufficient postage will be returned — meaning taxpayers will be penalized for filing late tax returns..
• Postal regulations require that stamped tax returns weighing 13 ounces or more be mailed at a post office. They cannot be mailed in a collection box.
• Automated Postal Centers, or self-service kiosks, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at various Lexington post offices (locations at Postal Locator on usps.com). An April 17 date stamp/postmark will be provided if the mail is deposited by the last pickup time posted on the Automated Postal Center on April 17. Certified/return receipt service is available.