ODT offering tax amnesty

Written on Jan 11, 2018

By Gary Hunt, senior content editor

An ongoing amnesty program from the Ohio Department of Taxation offers individuals and businesses the chance to pay some delinquencies without penalty and half the regular interest.

“It's an opportunity for people to come forward, catch up on any tax liabilities they have and get a break,” said Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa. “They'll obviously save some money, as opposed to if, in fact, we discovered them through one of our programs.”

If the department discovered the liability before 2018, the taxpayer is ineligible for this program, and still on the hook for the full amount. Amnesty is an effort to ferret out tax liabilities it doesn’t know about, with ODT’s stated goal being collection of more than $20 million in tax revenue.

Testa joined us on the latest episode of OSPCA Spotlight to discuss the program, which runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 15.

“That’s about six weeks,” Testa said. “It's a manageable time period. You don't want it to go on for too long, and you don't want to do them [amnesty programs] too frequently, either. 2012 was the last one we did, so it's almost been six years.”

Amnesty is available only for taxes that were due and payable as of May 1, 2017. Eligible taxes include individual income tax; school district income tax; employer withholding tax; employer withholding for school district income tax; pass-through entity tax; sales tax; use tax; commercial activity tax; financial institutions tax; cigarette and other tobacco products taxes; and alcoholic beverage taxes.

Learn more, including how to apply, at www.ohiotaxamnesty.gov or by calling 800-304-3211.

1 comment

Leave a comment
  1. Matt | Feb 09, 2018

    I called the 800 number because I sent estimated payments in 2015 and 2016 that more than covered my tax liability, so I did not know how to fill out the form.  I paid my taxes due but failed to file a return.  How should I fill out the taxes due column on the form?

        The man who answered the phone did not give a clear answer.  He referred me to a personal tax agent who could verify whether my estimated payments had been received.  He said my application may be rejected.  Why?  He said the staff could find something wrong or reject the amnesty application.  What?  He should not have been answering the phone.  He transferred me to the personal tax department.

        The personal tax department lady who answered was quite knowledgeable and told me exactly what I needed to do.  I needed to pay the tax amount again plus the amnesty interest.  (These amnesty tax amounts were small, less than $4.00 for 2015 and less than $8 for 2016.  )She said that the Ohio Taxation staff would verify my return and payments and, if accurate, send me a refund of the doubly paid tax.  She said that is how the amnesty program works.  Ok.  Clear.  I sent in the amounts again. 

    Leave a comment