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The IRS can forgive.

The IRS has agreed to forgive about 400 taxpayers in Ohio a late filing fee.

Wondering about the reason for such generosity and if this could happen to you? It is probably a once in a million type of error on the part of Ohio’s largest newspaper, The Plain Dealer.

On Monday, tax due date, the paper printed a list of the post offices staying open until midnight to postmark the tax returns. It turns out that several of the post offices listed did not stay open.

John Q. Citizen dropped off the tax return in the mailbox assuming the post office was open only to find out that his tax return was not postmarked April 17, 2005.

To those who mailed their returns late because of the incorrect information in the newspaper will not incur a penalty fee for the federal tax return per an Internal Revenue Service spokesman.

Letters were set to federal, state and local income tax officials requesting that any tardy taxpayers not be punished. The request was that taxpayers who posted their returns based on the bad information provided by the newspaper should not be penalized. This story was published Wednesday in the Plain Dealer.

At this time the state may not be so forgiving. 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.”

If the state says no, you may find extra cash to cover the fee and more by doing a free money search. Ohio, like all other states, keeps unclaimed property safe and secure waiting for the rightful owners to claim their portion of the wealth.

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