- Cory Frolik Staff Writer
Dayton government officials blamed a postal error as the reason some city tax returns mailed to a PO box in Akron bounced back to senders as undeliverable.
Dayton individual income tax forms directed residents and workers to mail their tax returns to a postal box in Akron if they did not owe any additional taxes or requested a refund.
But at least 15 tax filers have said they had their letters returned as undeliverable, according to city estimates.
The number could be higher — nearly 2,000 filers received refunds last year — but city officials believe the problem was limited to items postmarked on just one day.
The city said Friday the issue appears to be on the post office’s end and indicated the Akron office was looking into the matter.
The city instructed taxpayers whose returns could not be delivered to send the documents and the original mailing envelope directly to the city to avoid being counted as late.
David Van Allen, an Ohio spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said the PO box is active and accepting deliveries and a piece of mail that was returned and he reviewed appeared to result from an “anomalous” service error.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” he said.
The city of Dayton on Friday posted a special notice on its website about tax returns mailed to PO Box 7999 in Akron. The notice was posted after this news organization contacted the city to inquire about potential issues.
The city received roughly 15 calls from taxpayers this week about their tax returns bouncing back, said Toni Bankston, city of Dayton spokeswoman.
The city uses a vendor in Akron to process refunds, and the vendor checked on the issue with the post office and indicated a small number of customers were affected, Bankston said.
The vendor confirmed Friday morning that mail was being accepted at the PO box as normal, the city and postal service said.
The issue evidently occurred on April 17, based on the postage stamps, Bankston said, but most returns sent to the Akron PO box were accepted and processed correctly.
In 2016, an estimated 27,235 tax returns were filed with the city of Dayton, which includes returns from both businesses and individual taxpayers, according to data obtained by this newspaper.
The city issued more than 1,920 refunds to businesses and individuals last year, totalling about $2.6 million.
The impacted taxpayers will not be assessed a penalty or interest, but the returns should be mailed back within 15 days, Bankston said.
Citizens whose returns bounced back should mail their tax forms and the original envelopes they used to: City of Dayton, Division of Tax and Accounting, PO Box 2806, Dayton, OH, 45401.
Customers with mail concerns can call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-ASK-USPS.