The 12/15 Deadline You Never Knew About

If you’re an accountant, the 15th of the month usually has some meaning.  Whether it’s a tax filing deadline, or just an estimated tax payment deadline, there’s always something.  If you’re lucky, that something is just payroll.

But did you know about December 15th?  If you didn’t, don’t worry, you won’t be sued for accounting malpractice because of it.  Your only punishment will be a large amount of stress over the next week and a half.  Look on the bright side, it’s just practice for busy season!

What is the 12/15 Deadline?

December 15th is when you should probably be done with all your holiday shopping and Christmas cards.  No, it’s not an official deadline, but after December 15th things start getting crazy.  Parking lots are jam-packed, store shelves are scant, and that one gift your kid wants is nowhere to be found and Amazon Prime can’t even save you this time.

If you’re sending out holiday cards, they should be in the mail by 12/15 if you want your recipients to receive them before Christmas.  However, if you’re late sending out your Christmas cards, don’t worry.  There’s a lot of value to being the last card someone receives – just when someone thinks they’ve received all the holiday cards they’re getting this year…


Your card may have been the last one in the race, but it’s also the last one in the garbage can (or recycle bin!).


USPS Holiday Shipping Guidelines

The 12/15 deadline isn’t completely made up.  USPS posted their recommended send-by dates so packages can be delivered before Christmas.  You can send packages via regular first-class mail by December 17 or Priority Mail by December 19. If you can afford to pay the “late tax” of Priority Mail Express, you can ship by December 23.  Just be prepared to pay more for shipping that you did for your gift. 

So if you need to ship by 12/17, you should buy your gifts by 12/15 so you have some time to package them and get them to the post office.  Here’s the full schedule of shipping dates from USPS.


Last Minute Gift Ideas for Accountants?

It wouldn’t be a RuBook Creative blog post without a shameless plug for gifts and cards for accountants!

You may not get it in time for Christmas, but just tell your accounting friends you filed an extension.