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September 18, 2005

The TaxProf Blog reports that 30,000 estimated payments are lost in San Francisco Bay after a truck carrying them to a bank was involved in an accident on the San Mateo Bridge.

The payments were from Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming, according to the report.

Dr. Maule says this incident shows the advantages of electronic payment of estimated taxes. He also passes on the following suggestion if you suspect your estimated payment has been invested in seawater futures:

Check with your bank (or have your client check with the bank) to see if the check cleared. If it has, fine. If it has not, call the IRS to see if the check has been posted to the taxpayer's account. If it has not, stop payment on the original check and send in a replacement. I add this cautionary note: include a statement that the check is being sent as a replacement for a timely mailed payment presumed lost on account of the 11 September 2005 San Mateo bridge accident. No one knows if the IRS will waive penalties. If it doesn't, that will surely generate an uproar.

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