Just Filed my 83(b) Election Form – What Happens Next?

If you just mailed your 83(b) Election Form to the IRS, do not expect anything to happen. The IRS does not acknowledge receipt or send you any correspondences regarding the filing.

In order to prove timely filing, you should always mail the form using US Postal Service Certified Mail with a Return Receipt requested. If you have never done this, just go to your local Post Office and ask the postal clerk. Here is a good instructional video http://www.wikihow.com/Send-Certified-Mail-(USA)

Make sure you keep the receipt that will be stamped with the mailing date and as a secondary backup, scan it and securely save it electronically. If you need to prove timely filing, there’s a strong chance it will be many years later. The IRS will always accept Certified Mail as proof of timely delivery.

Once the IRS receives the mailing, they will sign the Certified Mail’s Return Receipt and mail it back to you. This will show only that the IRS received it. The form needs to be mailed (not received by the IRS) within 30 days of the grant date.

As discussed in our “83(b) Elections for Dummies” post, in addition to mailing the form using Certified Mail, be sure to:
• Enclose a letter
• Include a copy of the 83(b) Election Form
• Include a self-addressed stamped envelope
In the letter, ask the IRS to date stamp the copy of the 83(b) Election Form, enclose it in the attached self-addressed stamped envelope, and mail back to you.

Following these instructions is crucial because if the IRS challenges your 83(b) Election Form when you sell the stock and the IRS did not properly record your 83(b) Election Form and you have no proof of timely filing, you lose.