5703.37 Service of notice or order.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, whenever service of a notice or order is required in the manner provided in this section, a copy of the notice or order shall be served upon the person affected thereby either by personal service, by certified mail, or by a delivery service authorized under section 5703.056 of the Revised Code that notifies the tax commissioner of the date of delivery.

(2) In lieu of serving a copy of a notice or order through one of the means provided in division (A)(1) of this section, the commissioner may serve a notice or order upon the person affected thereby through alternative means as provided in this section, including, but not limited to, delivery by secure electronic mail as provided in division (F) of this section. Delivery by such means satisfies the requirements for delivery under this section.

(B)

(1)

(a) If certified mail is returned because of an undeliverable address, the commissioner shall first utilize reasonable means to ascertain a new last known address, including the use of a change of address service offered by the United States postal service or an authorized delivery service under section 5703.056 of the Revised Code. If, after using reasonable means, the commissioner is unable to ascertain a new last known address, the assessment is final for purposes of section 131.02 of the Revised Code sixty days after the notice or order sent by certified mail is first returned to the commissioner, and the commissioner shall certify the notice or order, if applicable, to the attorney general for collection under section 131.02 of the Revised Code.

(b) Notwithstanding certification to the attorney general under division (B)(1)(a) of this section, once the commissioner or attorney general, or the designee of either, makes an initial contact with the person to whom the notice or order is directed, the person may protest an assessment by filing a petition for reassessment within sixty days after the initial contact. The certification of an assessment under division (B)(1)(a) of this section is prima-facie evidence that delivery is complete and that the notice or order is served.

(2) If mailing of a notice or order by certified mail is returned for some cause other than an undeliverable address or if a person does not access an electronic notice or order within the time provided in division (F) of this section, the commissioner shall resend the notice or order by ordinary mail. The notice or order shall show the date the commissioner sends the notice or order and include the following statement:

"This notice or order is deemed to be served on the addressee under applicable law ten days from the date this notice or order was mailed by the commissioner as shown on the notice or order, and all periods within which an appeal may be filed apply from and after that date."

Unless the mailing is returned because of an undeliverable address, the mailing of that information is prima-facie evidence that delivery of the notice or order was completed ten days after the commissioner sent the notice or order by ordinary mail and that the notice or order was served.

If the ordinary mail is subsequently returned because of an undeliverable address, the commissioner shall proceed under division (B)(1)(a) of this section. A person may challenge the presumption of delivery and service under this division in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(C)

(1) A person disputing the presumption of delivery and service under division (B) of this section bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the address to which the notice or order was sent was not an address with which the person was associated at the time the commissioner originally mailed the notice or order by certified mail. For the purposes of this section, a person is associated with an address at the time the commissioner originally mailed the notice or order if, at that time, the person was residing, receiving legal documents, or conducting business at the address; or if, before that time, the person had conducted business at the address and, when the notice or order was mailed, the person's agent or the person's affiliate was conducting business at the address. For the purposes of this section, a person's affiliate is any other person that, at the time the notice or order was mailed, owned or controlled at least twenty per cent, as determined by voting rights, of the addressee's business.

(2) If the person elects to protest an assessment certified to the attorney general for collection, the person must do so within sixty days after the attorney general's initial contact with the person. The attorney general may enter into a compromise with the person under sections 131.02 and 5703.06 of the Revised Code if the person does not file a petition for reassessment with the commissioner.

(D) Nothing in this section prohibits the commissioner or the commissioner's designee from delivering a notice or order by personal service.

(E) Collection actions taken pursuant to section 131.02 of the Revised Code upon any assessment being challenged under division (B)(1)(b) of this section shall be stayed upon the pendency of an appeal under this section. If a petition for reassessment is filed pursuant to this section on a claim that has been certified to the attorney general for collection, the claim shall be uncertified.

(F) The commissioner may serve a notice or order upon the person affected by the notice or order through secure electronic means only with the person's consent. The commissioner must inform the recipient, electronically or by mail, that a notice or order is available for electronic review and provide instructions to access and print the notice or order. The recipient's electronic access of the notice or order satisfies the requirements for delivery under this section. If the recipient fails to access the notice or order electronically within ten business days, then the commissioner shall inform the recipient a second time, electronically or by mail, that a notice or order is available for electronic review and provide instructions to access and print the notice or order. If the recipient fails to access the notice or order electronically within ten business days of the second notification, the notice or order shall be served upon the person through the means provided in division (B)(2) of this section.

(G) As used in this section:

(1) "Last known address" means the address the department has at the time the document is originally sent by certified mail, or any address the department can ascertain using reasonable means such as the use of a change of address service offered by the United States postal service or an authorized delivery service under section 5703.056 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Undeliverable address" means an address to which the United States postal service or an authorized delivery service under section 5703.056 of the Revised Code is not able to deliver a notice or order, except when the reason for nondelivery is because the addressee fails to acknowledge or accept the notice or order.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.117, HB 508, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 09-06-2002