Official Tax Summary Statement format

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
rpyne
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Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby rpyne » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:40 pm

Is there some special reason that the annual tax statements, both in MLS and the new combined ones sent to us from Church Headquarters, have not or cannot be formatted for use with a window envelope?

As a programmer who regularly writes software to produce PDFs for printing, it seams that it would really be a very minor task to do and it would save MANY hours of work for clerks.

RossEvans
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby RossEvans » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:40 am

rpyne wrote:Is there some special reason that the annual tax statements, both in MLS and the new combined ones sent to us from Church Headquarters, have not or cannot be formatted for use with a window envelope?

As a programmer who regularly writes software to produce PDFs for printing, it seams that it would really be a very minor task to do and it would save MANY hours of work for clerks.


I doubt that most clerks know how to fold hundreds of letters or forms precisely so that the address block fits the window envelope. And they don't have the folding machines used in business mail rooms. That's a good idea, though, if the printed forms also had folding marks as a guide. And we would need idiot-proof instructions.

Actually, since the standard #10 window envelopes provided by the church stationary provider are really designed for such a folded mail piece, I don't understand why they are commonly supplied to units, with no other sizes available. The usual need for window envelopes at the unit level is for checks, for which the #10 window envelopes are ill suited.

Gary_Miller
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:23 am

RossEvans wrote:The usual need for window envelopes at the unit level is for checks, for which the #10 window envelopes are ill suited.

I use the window envelope purchased through distribution all the time for checks and have no problems.

drepouille
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby drepouille » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:41 am

We had one kicked back from the USPS last month, and I still don't understand why. We sent a payment to a company using their tear-off payment slip, which showed the address through the window on the envelope. The USPS delivered the envelope to stake president's home, which was the return address -- with no explanation why. The funniest thing about this is that the company is directly across the street from the local post office, so it's not like the USPS couldn't find the company...
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

RossEvans
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby RossEvans » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:51 am

Gary_Miller wrote:
RossEvans wrote:The usual need for window envelopes at the unit level is for checks, for which the #10 window envelopes are ill suited.

I use the window envelope purchased through distribution all the time for checks and have no problems.


You are fortunate.

In our large ward, which has printed an unusually high volume of checks over the years, we experienced several mail returns caused by the mismatched envelope sizes. Sometimes this caused cascading problems, such as large late fees from landlords because the rent checks were not delivered on time.

The basic problem is that checks when folded on the perforation are too small for the #10 window envelopes, with a half inch of slop above the checks and a lot of slop on the sides. Because they fit so loosely, handling can cause them to slip up vertically so the top line or lines of the address are not visible in the window, so the USPS automated processing returns them as undeliverable.

Using #9 window envelopes reduces this problem because of a more snug fit. The problem is solved entirely by using a perfectly fitting # 8 5/8 window envelope, which is specifically designed for standard business checks. MLS prints checks to this standard, but the church provides only the #10 envelopes.

There are two ways for a unit to work around this problem:

  • Buy the smaller window envelopes commercially. You can have the bishop's return address (but not the church logo) preprinted, or buy blank envelopes and run them through a laser printer yourself.
  • Use the #10s, but cut 4 X 8 1/2 inch strips from card stock and fold each MLS check and perforated stub around a strip before inserting it into the envelope. This will prevent the check from slipping upwards during handling.

A better solution would be for Salt Lake to provide the correct envelopes in the first place.

Gary_Miller
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:58 am

RossEvans wrote:There are two ways for a unit to work around this problem:

  • Buy the smaller window envelopes commercially. You can have the bishop's return address (but not the church logo) preprinted, or buy blank envelopes and run them through a laser printer yourself.
  • Use the #10s, but cut 4 X 8 1/2 inch strips from card stock and fold each MLS check and perforated stub around a strip before inserting it into the envelope. This will prevent the check from slipping upwards during handling.

Both of these options take money out of my ward budget why would I want to do that?

RossEvans wrote:A better solution would be for Salt Lake to provide the correct envelopes in the first place.
If there is a problem yes however your the first I have heard who has a problem. I have never had a check returned do to the problem you have stated.

russellhltn
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 am

RossEvans wrote:... or buy blank envelopes and run them through a laser printer yourself.


I'd be cautious about that. I'd make sure the envelopes are designed to be laser printed. Otherwise you might end up with a gooey mess from the hot fuser melting the window.

Gary_Miller wrote:
RossEvans wrote:Use the #10s, but cut 4 X 8 1/2 inch strips from card stock and fold each MLS check and perforated stub around a strip before inserting it into the envelope. This will prevent the check from slipping upwards during handling.

Both of these options take money out of my ward budget why would I want to do that?


I don't think you need to use card stock. I'd think a common sheet of paper cut to size would do it. That would be quite a bit cheaper then the postage needed to send the check again. The cost of the paper is minimal.
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RossEvans
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby RossEvans » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:41 am

Gary_Miller wrote:
RossEvans wrote:There are two ways for a unit to work around this problem:

  • Buy the smaller window envelopes commercially. You can have the bishop's return address (but not the church logo) preprinted, or buy blank envelopes and run them through a laser printer yourself.
  • Use the #10s, but cut 4 X 8 1/2 inch strips from card stock and fold each MLS check and perforated stub around a strip before inserting it into the envelope. This will prevent the check from slipping upwards during handling.

Both of these options take money out of my ward budget why would I want to do that?

RossEvans wrote:A better solution would be for Salt Lake to provide the correct envelopes in the first place.
If there is a problem yes however your the first I have heard who has a problem. I have never had a check returned do to the problem you have stated.


Well, out of perhaps a couple of thousand mailed checks over several years, with the MLS check alignment settings correct, I have only experienced the USPS returns only three or four times. But each case was costly in time and/or money for someone. Certainly the bishop and clerk spent a lot of time chasing emergencies needlessly. Once the issue almost triggered an eviction. So I learned the hard way to fix the problem myself before it happens again. Feel free to take your chances. But perhaps this advice can help others. And ideally, someone in Salt Lake might even notice and offer units the right envelopes at a more efficient price.
Last edited by RossEvans on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

RossEvans
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby RossEvans » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:44 am

russellhltn wrote:
RossEvans wrote:... or buy blank envelopes and run them through a laser printer yourself.


I'd be cautious about that. I'd make sure the envelopes are designed to be laser printed. Otherwise you might end up with a gooey mess from the hot fuser melting the window.


Good point. I haven't tested that option myself.

jdlessley
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Re: Official Tax Summary Statement format

Postby jdlessley » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:22 pm

Nice discussion. But I don't think anyone answered or addresses the OP question:
rpyne wrote:Is there some special reason that the annual tax statements, both in MLS and the new combined ones sent to us from Church Headquarters, have not or cannot be formatted for use with a window envelope?

I have taken a look at the tax statements MLS prints. There is no donor address printed on them. So my guess is that rpyne is asking why there is no address for the donor on the statement so that a windowed envelope can be used. The only address on the statement is the one for Church headquarters. The information for a donor is in this format:

Annual Charitable Cash Contributions
Donor(s): [Donor Name]
Spouse: [Spouse Name]
[Unit Name] (Unit Number)

The spouse line is added for those donor records with the "Show spouse on donor record" checked.

We print mailing labels for those tax statements that are not passed out during the Sunday meetings.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?


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