The Post Office sent my tax return back to me. For insufficient (ie, no) postage.
I have no idea how long it’s been in the mailbox. I don’t _think_ it came back right after I mailed it on the 14th, because I did check my mailbox that day. In fact, I’m fairly sure it came back to me after the 15th… but there’s no way of knowing for sure, because my memory for things like mailbox checking is very bad.
The sad thing is, I swear I put a stamp on that puppy. I put a Forever stamp on my federal return and a Christmas stamp on my Ohio one. (You may guess which one I felt more cheerful about.) So… assuming I didn’t actually forget to affix the Forever stamp (and I don’t think I forgot, though it’s possible), this means I’m always going to have to be paranoid, and fully check my Forever stamps’ stickeriness from now on.
It probably also means that I’m going to have pay tax penalties for being late or something, since the Post Office didn’t actually do me the courtesy of postmarking it before sending it back. Unless the IRS is really feeling mean, and audits me or something. Arghhhhhhhh.
It also occurred to me, after remailing the return, that I probably needed to get a new envelope and could not actually just restamp the old one. But it’s in the mail now, so I’m probably out of luck and will just get the envelope back. Again. Possibly with more red ink stamps on it.
The one consolation I have is that I can’t blame this on my lateness. I mailed that return a whole day early. And if I had mailed it January 1st, I still could have gotten it back on April 16th for insufficient postage or whatever. I’ve gotten plenty of weird mail returns, at home and at work, anywhere from a month to six months after mailing. (Usually this happens when the stamp/postage strip/mailing address gets mangled by some postal machine somewhere until the other postal machines can’t read it anymore, and then they send it back to the original sender as a sort of peace offering.) Postal mail these days is a sort of lottery; you wager a stamp that it will get through. You’ve probably got a 95% chance that it will, which isn’t bad as a bet; but it isn’t good for a service.
Luckily, any work mail that’s heavier than a few ounces, or larger than a little letter envelope, is usually cheaper to send 2 day FedEx than by first class mail. It’s more reliable, and our mailroom guy can track it. I’ve had some problems with getting Amazon packages delivered to me at my apartment in the past; but I’ve never had problems at work with FedEx packages not getting where they’re supposed to go. When I send something express at work, I have confidence and peace of mind.
(The Post Office rate list, btw, is so complicated that I literally cannot figure out how much it costs to send packages, unless I make some kind of chart. It’s not just by weight, but also by envelope/package size. No mailroom guy wants to fuss with it, which is why the Post Office is pushing their pre-paid boxes so hard. Though they don’t mind charging you a buck more than what your package’s mailing rate actually should be.)
And of course, postage really should be free for tax stuff, since it’s government business. However much your stuff weighs, it’s all official government paperwork that pays for the government’s existence. But nooooo.
I knew I should have put two stamps on the envelope, just to be safe. But if you do that nowadays, they think you’re the Unibomber. Bah.