What is irradiation? A woman from San Francisco, CA, mails the check to the IRS through the USPS post office and gets it back with the ink gone

SAN FRANCISCO– If you’ve ever sent mail to the federal government, you might be wondering if it will ever reach the right person.

What you may not know is what happens to mail after you send it to the government. For a Californian, this led to a strange experience.

It felt like a page out of a spy novel to Lou Ann Bassan from San Francisco. “It was really very surreal, like I couldn’t believe this was happening… maybe it’s some secret government program…” she laughed.

It started when Bassan filed a motion with the US tax court to challenge a hefty IRS penalty.

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She paid the $60 filing fee with a $60 check. But a few weeks later, the court returned the check to her.

To her amazement, it was completely empty. All the ink on her check was gone.

“The date isn’t there, the payee isn’t there, the amount isn’t there…my first thought was, ‘Oh my god, I sent the check and I forgot to fill it out,'” Bassan said.

But she hasn’t forgotten. According to the decision of the tax court, the mail had been “irradiated”.

And with that, the ink on her check disappeared.

“I can not believe that. irradiated? I’ve never heard of anything like this. It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie or a spy thriller,” she said.

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Everything she had written is gone except for a faint shadow that you might be able to see if you look very closely.

“If I flipped it just right…I can barely make out, ‘Clerk, United States Tax Court,'” Bassan said.

The court statement said Bassan needed to find a pen that would withstand radiation and write another check.

“A radiation-resistant pen? What is that?” She asked.

She went online and found some pens with contaminated ink. But they cost $254 for a pack of 100.

“I’m not going to buy a special pen just to write a check. I refuse,” she said. “So then I was like, ‘Oh, Michael Finney!'”

Our sister station KGO’s 7 On Your Side learned that the Postal Service has been irradiating mail addressed to government offices in Washington DC since the Great Anthrax Scare of 2001, when criminals sent envelopes containing deadly anthrax powder through the US Post Office.

Radiation would kill harmful bacteria and viruses in future attacks.

The post-approved radiation mail can become brittle or yellow. The Finance Court tells us that “occasionally” ink disappears from his mail.

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Bassan says it shouldn’t be that hard to contest an IRS penalty.

“My own government is polluting the mail and erasing my information. Why is this happening to me?” she asked.

Well, this story has a weird happy ending. Before Bassan could file a new check, the IRS reconsidered her case and waived that penalty. She didn’t have to go to court, didn’t have to pay a filing fee. Thanks to the missing ink, she saved $60 – and a story that could make a good spy novel.

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https://abc7.com/irs-tax-irradiated-post-office-usps/12302793/ What is irradiation? A woman from San Francisco, CA, mails the check to the IRS through the USPS post office and gets it back with the ink gone

Laura Coffey

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