The Check Is in the Mail, Really!

One of the more interesting aspects of being a tax professional is the reliance on the mail, the Post Office. When you timely mail a tax return, it’s considered filed on the date of mailing. There are, as always, some caveats: You should mail the return (or payment) using certified mail. That means going to the Post Office, waiting in line, and using one of those green certified mail receipts. But if you do that your return will be considered timely filed even if it takes a while to get to its destination. It also helps resolve issues if your return gets lost in the mail (that’s happened a couple times to my clients), or if the mail truck makes a right turn while on a bridge over San Francisco Bay (there’s a reason there’s a bridge), or the mail truck goes up in flames.

This morning I received a notice from California’s Franchise Tax Board (the state’s income tax agency):

Due to a significant delay at the Post Office, some June payments arrived via mail up to a month late at the Franchise Tax Board.

However, these payments will be posted with a timely date of June 15, 2019. No action is needed by taxpayers or their representatives.

On Tuesday July 9, FTB received approximately 115,000 estimate and other payments with dates mostly between June 5 and June 20.

If a taxpayer or representative contacts FTB regarding a payment sent in June that has not yet posted, FTB customer service representatives will use all available resources to locate the payment.

FTB is asking taxpayers and representatives to allow some additional time to process and post their payment. It is not necessary to stop payment on a check that was delayed. MyFTB users may log in to their MyFTB account to verify payment.

Kudos to the FTB for being proactive on this issue and letting the public (and the tax professional community) know of the problem, and for taking the appropriate steps to resolve the issue. If you are one of the impacted taxpayers, give the FTB one month to resolve this. Unfortunately, this is clearly something that’s going to be a manual fix, and there are 115,000 fixes to be done.

If your payment posts and isn’t corrected to the June 15th date, then it will be time for you (or your tax professional) to contact the FTB.

Leave a Reply