News Releases

News Release

August 15, 2003 - Blackout Prompts Tax Filing Extension -- New Due Date: August 22

(Columbus) – Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino said today the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) will extend tax filing and payment deadlines to individuals and businesses affected by the power blackout that swept through large sections of Ohio, many other states and parts of Canada.

The extension means that individual income tax, employer withholding tax and accelerated sales tax returns and payments due today, August 15th, will now be considered timely if filed by August 22, 2003.

Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino says ODT cannot waive interest that accrues on any delayed payments but will not impose any penalties on taxpayers who couldn’t file or pay because of the massive electrical power failure.

“We’re not certain how many taxpayers were shutdown by the blackout and unable to file, but we’re ready to work with any individual or business that was planning to file to help get them back on track.” Zaino said.

Zaino says affected taxpayers should mark “Northeast Blackout” on top of any delayed returns or otherwise notify ODT about their situation to help avoid any inadvertent penalty.

The extension covers individuals who opted for the August 15 extension for filing income tax returns, and businesses that file monthly employer withholding tax returns, and vendors that must make accelerated sales tax payments.

To contact ODT or for additional information, individual income taxpayers should call
1-800-282-1780; business taxpayers should call 1-888-405-4039.

The Internal Revenue Service is granting a similar extension for federal taxpayers.

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(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903).