Taxpayers whose checks may have taken a swim near San Francisco have options

More than 30,000 tax payments by businesses and individuals in 13 Western states went into the drink Sept. 11 when a truck carrying them to the Internal Revenue Service crashed on the San Mateo Bridge near San Francisco.

According to IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino, those are quarterly payments made by small businesses, independent contractors and self-employed individuals, not tax returns from typical wage earners. Those whose payments were lost are most likely people who mailed an IRS payment to the San Francisco post office box between Sept. 1 and Sept. 11.

He said IRS is asking taxpayers who think their payment may have been among the lost checks to wait until after Sept. 30. If the check hasn't cleared by then, they should contact IRS at 800-829-1040 for instructions.

"If you're one of those people, we're trying to make this as easy as possible, waiving penalties and interest and setting up a special post office box to send payments to," he said. "Obviously, this was out of the control of the taxpayer."

He said IRS is also mailing notices to potentially affected taxpayers with instructions.


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