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Legally, you must wait until all votes postmarked by the cut off date are received. The postmark date is the determining factor. It is used by the IRS also. This will serve as precedent against your argument if you chose to disqualify any votes mailed on time but received after the cutoff date. You should also note that if a vote is postaged by a mailing machine (Pitney Bowes or such) it must then be received by the cutoff date to be acceptable. Postage meter stamp dates are not official. So save those envelopes on any you wish to disregard.
So if we receive a enevelope tomorrow and the post mark is dated Nov 1st, will we gave to accept this? although the cut of time was yesterday at 5pm and clearly stated to be in our "hands" at that time.
That is correct. You could theoretically receive it 2 weeks from now and need to count the vote if the postmark date is correct. Please remember that postage meter stamps do not count because they can be backdated.
do you know what statute this is under?
The date of the postmark can be quite important. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service will still consider income tax returns as filed on time though it receives them late if they are postmarked on time, and this date (with, perhaps, other proofs of mailing), may have significance as regards XXXXX XXXXX and proofs of service (though in this case the date may viewed as "on time" if the date of the postmark is no more than one day after the date service is supposed to have been made). Entries into sweepstakes and contests, and juried art exhibitions, may likewise have a "postmark deadline," and in at least one case it might have significance regarding the date of class withdrawal.
This is from the New Jersey statutes:
18:2-4.3 Postmark date deemed date of filing or payment
For documents required to be filed with or payments to be made to the director generally,
and except as otherwise provided, the date of the United States postmark as stamped on the
envelope or other wrapper in which such document or payment is contained will be deemed to be
the date of filing or payment. Where delivery is made by courier, delivery messenger or similar
service, the date of receipt by the Division, as evidenced by an authentic Division of Taxation
date stamp, will be deemed to be the date of filing or payment.
As you can see there is a common thread here. Please let me know if you want additional references.
thank you very much