RITA Giving Taxpayers a Break After Record-Breaking Traffic

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio– The Regional Income Tax Agency or R.I.T.A, is giving taxpayers a break this year.

Returns will be accepted as late as midnight, Monday, April 21, instead of midnight April 15.

Executive Director, Donald Smith, told FOX 8 the agency experienced record-breaking web traffic over the weekend preceding the April 15 deadline.

16,000 returns were electronically filed between midnight Friday and Sunday, which turned out to be more traffic than the agency’s bandwidth could handle.

Frustrated taxpayers swamped the agency with phone calls on Monday, prompting 40 agents to process more than 200 calls an hour.

“We thought we were more than prepared for the filing season. Monday morning, we realized we were not,” admitted Smith.

He told FOX 8’s Lorrie Taylor that IT technicians realized they had a serious problem early Monday and contacted the agency’s telephone provider with an order for more bandwidth.

“It took until midnight Monday to double the bandwidth,” he said.

Smith told Taylor taxpayers will be given a break for their inconvenience.

“So if I, in good faith, try to make the deadline today and can’t, but I can file tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, over the weekend, understanding it is the Easter/Passover weekend, as well, or next Monday, either having it postmarked by next Monday or electronically filed with us by 11:59, we will consider it as being timely filed,” said Smith.

230 villages and municipalities are served by the agency. Smith said all had been sent electronic copies of R.I.T.A.’s tax form, so local officials could load copies onto their web sites for easier taxpayer access.