Newspaper that printed wrong hours asks for no tax penalties

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

The Plain Dealer

on Monday printed a list of post offices staying open until midnight, including offices in the suburbs of Broadview Heights, Euclid and Parma that were not staying open late. Many last-minute tax filers had to leave their returns in mailboxes without getting a postmark to make the April 17 deadline.

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."

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

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."

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