IRS Adds Various DHL Express Services to List of Approved Private Delivery Services

After letting the list stand unchanged for 11 years, for the second year in a row the IRS has updated the list of authorized private delivery services in Notice 2016-30.  Although various all services from DHL Express were dropped in Notice 15-38 (the first update in 11 years to the list), the new notice adds various services offered by DHL Express.

Under IRC §7502(f) the IRS is authorized to designate certain private delivery services (referred to as “PDSs”) to count for the timely filing/timely paying rule of IRC §7502.  Generally this puts such services on a par with sending the document and/or payment via certified mail so long as the taxpayer retains the required proof of timely presentation of the package to the service.


The notice provides the following information about the nature of such proof:

Under this notice, the postmark date for an item delivered after the due date is presumed to be the day that precedes the delivery date by an amount of time that equals the amount of time it would normally take for an item to be delivered under the terms of the specific type of delivery service used (e.g., two days before the actual delivery date for a two-day delivery service). Taxpayers who wish to overcome this presumption must provide information that shows that the date recorded in the delivery service’s electronic database is on or before the due date, such as a written confirmation produced and issued by the delivery service. Each delivery service stores the date recorded in its database only for a finite period, but for no less than six months. Senders or recipients using a designated delivery service can obtain information concerning the date recorded by contacting the designated delivery service. Contact information for each delivery service is available on the company’s website.


An important distinction to note is that only the specific services listed in the Notice will receive this special treatment and that the vendors offer other services which will not qualify.  Thus it is important that a taxpayer who wishes to use a private delivery service be sure to select a specific level of service provided in this list—otherwise the package must actually arrive at the location before the last day for filing.

Example:  A taxpayer provides a package to Federal Express on April 18, 2016 that contains the taxpayer’s 2015 income tax return.  If the taxpayer uses Fed Ex 2 Day delivery as the Fed Ex service, the return will be deemed timely filed so long as Fed Ex’s records reflect that the package was given to it before the close of business on April 18, 2018.  But if the taxpayer, looking to economize, selects FedEx Express Saver and presents the package to FedEx on April 18, the return will not be treated as timely filed.  Express Saver is not listed as a designed PDS in Notice 2016-30.

The current list of designated PDSs, as of Notice 2016-30, is:

  • DHL Express:
  • DHL Express 9:00
  • DHL Express 10:30
  • DHL Express 12:00
  • DHL Express Worldwide
  • DHL Express Envelope
  • DHL Import Express 10:30
  • DHL Import Express 12:00
  • DHL Import Express Worldwide
  • FedEx:
  • FedEx First Overnight
  • FedEx Priority Overnight
  • FedEx Standard Overnight
  • FedEx 2 Day
  • FedEx International Next Flight Out
  • FedEx International Priority
  • FedEx International First
  • FedEx International Economy
  • UPS:
  • UPS Next Day Air Early AM
  • UPS Next Day Air
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver
  • UPS 2nd Day Air
  • UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Expres