Newspaper Error Causes Ohio Taxpayers To Turn in Forms Late

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About 400 taxpayers who mailed their returns late because of incorrect information in a newspaper will not be penalized by the federal government, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman said.

The state might not be so forgiving, though.

The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, on Monday printed a list of post offices staying open until midnight on the tax filing deadline, but it included offices in the suburbs of Broadview Heights, Euclid and Parma that were not staying open late.

Many last-minute tax filers ended up leaving their returns in mailboxes and missed the April 17 postmark.

Cleveland Postmaster W. Spencer Hsu and Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton said they sent letters to federal, state and local income tax officials asking that the tardy taxpayers not be punished.

“Taxpayers who posted their returns based on the bad information we provided should not be penalized,” Clifton said in a story published Wednesday. “I plan to send a letter to the appropriate authorities acknowledging the mistake. It should never have happened.”

Ohio State Department of Taxation spokesman Gary Gudmundson said the tax commissioner would consider the appeals but noted that the law doesn’t allow for “forgiving late filers.”

IRS spokesman Chris Kerns said the federal taxpayers will not be penalized.

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