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Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer


The Postal Service handles millions of packages each year during the holiday season.

The U.S. Postal Service will deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail this holiday season. That includes 850 million packages, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year. 

“The Postal Service is well prepared to meet our customers’ needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. 

The Postal Service will be expanding its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 26. The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities, and anticipates delivering more than 6 million packages on Sundays this December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations. 

 “America relies on the Postal Service and our 640,000 dedicated employees to deliver the holidays,” said Brennan. “We take great pride in our holiday readiness and preparation, and in our ability to offer reliable, predictable and affordable service in every community in America.” 

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days 

With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. Starting the week of Dec. 11, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 18 – 24 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week. During this week, nearly 3 billion pieces of First Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered. The Postal Service also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. 

Skip the Trip and Ship Online 

While there may not be a busiest day for shipping this year, the Postal Service anticipates that Dec. 18 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that helps make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier. And usps.com is always open. 

The Postal Service offers a new feature this year to help you track and schedule package delivery. Our Informed Delivery tool not only allows you to see your incoming mail and packages, it also allows you to reschedule delivery of your packages to ensure you’re able to be home to receive them. 

2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines 

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines: 

  • Nov. 6 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground 
  • Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail 
  • Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground 
  • Dec. 15 – Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class 
  • Dec. 16 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 16 – First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces) 
  • Dec. 19 – First Class Mail (including greeting cards) 
  • Dec. 20 – Priority Mail 
  • Dec. 20 – Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 20 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class 
  • Dec. 21 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express 

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews. 

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Postal Service Holiday Shipping Deadlines 


 

If you mail packages to friends and family for the holidays, you will want to take note of the 2015 holiday shipping deadlines released by the U.S. Postal Service.

Mail-by Dates (Domestic Services) 

• Dec. 15 – Standard Post
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.

• Dec. 19 – First Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.

• Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where your package starts and where it’s being sent, variety of Flat Rate options.

• Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations.
Complete details on Mailing and Shipping services can be found on usps.com.

• Mail-by Dates (International Services)
Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines. Please visit the International Shipping page on usps.com for more information.

HOL-shipping-chart

Mail-by Dates (Military) 

The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays. Complete military mailing deadlines to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, as well as tips and guidelines can be found https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm.

Shipping Supplies 

As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online at usps.com. Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge.

Shipping supplies available online and at local Post Offices include:

• Priority Mail boxes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• Priority Mail non-padded envelopes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• ReadyPost boxes: beginning at $4.29.

• ReadyPost bubble mailers: beginning at $1.79.

• ReadyPost clear packing tape: $3.29.
Customers may also ship using their own materials. As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Five key deadlines to help small businesses avoid IRS headaches


*TAX-Five key deadlines

BPT) – The adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure still rings true – especially for businesses preparing for tax season. If you oversee your company’s filing requirements, knowing what is due and when can save you and your employee’s penalties, time and stress.

Every year, January’s arrival means two important tasks if you are in charge of filing and reporting for your company or employer: issuing W-2s and 1099 forms to employees. Small-to-medium-sized businesses should plan accordingly to stay ahead of key dates crucial to making the 2013 filing season your “gold-star” year.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), businesses must send their employees W-2s by Jan. 31 and provide all W-2s and the transmittal form W-3 to the IRS by the last day of February.

If an employee does not receive a W-2 from their employer, they can contact the IRS for assistance. The IRS requests employees to wait until at least Feb. 14, allowing for slow mail delivery. After Feb. 14, the IRS will contact the employer and request the employee receive a duplicate W-2. The employer will be notified of the penalties if it fails to comply with government regulations, which can include fines, penalties and even imprisonment.

The same applies to issuing 1099s, used primarily for reporting company payments to freelance and contract workers, or other non-employees. In general, businesses need to furnish employees with a copy of their 1099 form by Jan. 31, 2014.

According to the experts at Greatland Corporation, a company that provides W-2 and 1099 forms and e-filing services to small businesses, for the past three years, the IRS has been cracking down on contractors who aren’t always attentive when it comes to paying taxes. In fact, the government has collected $9.5 million in back wages from employers who misclassified workers as independent contractors since 2011.

“We have many customers that used to feel overwhelmed by adopting a clear process for managing the timeline for ordering and submitting their forms,” says Janice Krueger, a spokesperson for Greatland, one of the country’s leading providers of W-2 and 1099 products for business. “Feedback from a recent survey we conducted showed that 43 percent of small business filers are terrified of being fined by the IRS for not complying with a new rule or regulation for W-2 and 1099 reporting. Adopting an early game-plan is always recommended to allow enough time for the complicated filings.”

Estimates are that 20 percent of businesses misclassify workers; so make sure your business knows how to correctly report your contractors when issuing a W-2 and 1099 forms.

According to Greatland, these key dates will allow company W-2 and 1099 filers to stay on track this filing season:

* Jan. 31, 2014 – Due date to mail employee copies for W-2

* Jan. 31, 2014 – Due date to mail recipient copies for 1099

* Feb. 18, 2014 – Due date for 1099-MISC if reporting payments in boxes 8 or 14

* Feb. 28, 2014 – Due date to send Copy A to federal agency on paper (W-2 to SSA, 1099 to IRS)

* March 31, 2014 – Due date to send Copy A to Federal agency electronically (W-2 to SSA, 1099 to IRS)

To make sure your business doesn’t miss a deadline, you can find a full list of federal state and filing dates to remember on Greatland’s W-2 and 1099 fact center website.

 

 

 

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