News and Insights

Ohio Tax Commissioner Zaino Announces Ohio Tax Amnesty

Tax Development Oct 25, 2001

In a recent press release, Commissioner Thomas Zaino announced Ohio's plan to offer a tax amnesty program. The program began on October 15, 2001 and will continue through January 15, 2002. This is a unique opportunity for those who have known liabilities to achieve compliance without the ramifications of penalties and a 50% reduction of interest.

Commissioner Zaino expressed that this program will be beneficial for everyone involved. With the State of Ohio predicting a deficit, this program offers incentive to those taxpayers who have not previously been forthcoming with their contributions to the state, county and school district programs that are funded by these taxes. In the same instance, the State is planning a more aggressive approach to their current enforcement and auditing policies. Those who fail to take advantage of this one time only opportunity will most certainly take the risk of falling prey to the full scrutiny of the forthcoming amendments in policy. The penalty rates in Ohio run from 15% to 50% currently, which in itself is a financial encouragement to "come clean."

What is tax amnesty?

Ohio's Tax Amnesty Program is a limited-time opportunity offering certain taxpayers an incentive to file outstanding returns and pay "qualifying delinquent taxes" owed to the Department of Taxation. "Qualifying delinquent taxes" are taxes that on May 1, 2001 were due and payable from a taxpayer or employer, that were unreported, underreported and/or remain unpaid. During the program, Ohio is authorized to forgive penalty and one-half of the interest charges in exchange for full and prompt payment of all tax and half the interest.

Who qualifies for tax amnesty?

Any taxpayer subject to "qualifying delinquent taxes" (personal property, public utility excise, corporate franchise, sales, use, pass-through entity, employer withholding and school district withholding, and individual and school district income taxes), which, on May 1, 2001 were due and payable from a taxpayer, vendor, seller or employer and that, remain unpaid. Taxes that have been billed or assessed by the Department of Taxation or for which an audit by the Department is underway are not eligible for amnesty.

If you have any questions regarding the matters discussed above, or require any assistance concerning Ohio tax matters, please contact Mr. G. Brint Ryan, Managing Principal of Ryan & Company, at 972.934.0022. Mr. Ryan can also be reached via e-mail.