I researched this topic extensively because when I threw my returns into the mail box this evening at the Post Office on Rancho California Road here in Temecula I heard them hit bottom. The time was 5:03 p.m. and the schedule on the box said last pick up was 5:00 p.m.
This means that the box was empty, or close to it. There was a big line of cars in front of me and in back of me though. Does the IRS have staff whose job it is to look at postmarks? Are they going to penalize all the returns mailed on April 16? I find this hard to believe.
This answer it the one that stopped my worries: I found it on a Q and A somewhere about Tax Filing.......
For the first few days after April 15 the IRS is still getting truckloads of returns. An IRS spokesman candidly admits there's no way they can go through all that paperwork ferreting out schnooks who filed their returns 15 minutes or even a couple of days late.
I also found this: Being a day or two late is no big deal, but the IRS figures a week or two is enough for even the most disorganized postal districts to get the mail where it's supposed to go. Then things start getting ugly. If you're late and you owe, the P&I clock begins ticking as of the postmark date.
Anybody have any personal experience with this????