An estimated 30,000 tax payments mailed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) post office box in San Francisco have been lost in a traffic accident. The payments were mailed between September 1 and September 11, 2005.
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The situation potentially affects 13 states according to an IRS statement. According to the IRS most of the documents involved were Form 1040-ES quarterly tax payments from
- Wyoming and
- anyone who mailed a IRS tax payment to the IRS San Francisco Post Office Box
The traffic accident occurred in the early morning hours of September 11. A contract courier en route from the post office to a check-processing facility in Hayward, California was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in an estimated 30,000 of the 45,000 tax payments the vehicle was carrying being ejected into the San Francisco Bay. The payments are non-recoverable.
The IRS encourages taxpayers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to wait until September 30 before contacting the IRS. This will allow checks that were received to be processed and to clear the banking system. After September 30, taxpayers whose checks have not cleared their bank should contact the IRS using the toll-free taxpayer assistance line at 1-800-829-1040 to receive instructions regarding how and where to send a replacement check. The IRS will waive interest ad penalties for affected taxpayers.
In addition the IRS intends to send a notice to taxpayers who previously mailed estimated tax payments to the San Francisco post office box and have potentially been affected by the incident. The notice will include specific instructions for send a replacement check if necessary. Taxpayers will have 30 days from the date of notification to send a replacement check.
According to the IRS statement, the Hayward check-processing facility processes approximately 2 million payments during September. The loss from this incident represents less than 2 percent of the total payments processed this month by the facility.