Legislature OKs state deadline extension

The Ohio Legislature voted unanimously Wednesday to give Ohio Tax Commissioner Jeff McClain authority to extend the state tax filing deadline to July 15 in alignment with the delayed federal deadline. Governor Mike DeWine indicated he would sign the bill into law quickly and supports the July 15 state filing delay.

“We are grateful for the strong leadership shown by Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and members of the Ohio Senate and Ohio House in moving critical issues like this forward so quickly in these extremely trying times,” said OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley. “

The move was just one provision of House Bill 197, emergency legislation created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also one of two legislative priorities identified by OSCPA members and leadership as the state and federal government began working in earnest over the past two weeks to contain the outbreak. On March 22, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, signed a "stay at home" order that ruled that several key businesses and services, including accounting services, may continue as an essential business function. (OSCPA is nevertheless strongly urging accounting professionals to observe physical distancing and to work from home as much as possible.)

Barbara Benton, CAE, the Society’s vice president of government relations, said nearly 1,000 people used OSCPA’s online tool to send almost 4,000 messages encouraging officials to move the deadline and recognize accounting as essential. Furthermore, OSCPA members in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties sent messages.

“This has been a great way for our members to personally influence public policy,” Benton said. “Their involvement has been invaluable, and they should know that we are continuing to advocate on their behalf on key business and professional licensure issues so they can focus on their businesses during this difficult time.”

The bill expressly authorizes the Tax Commissioner to extend any of the state’s tax filing and payment deadlines, and to waive associated interest and penalties for taxpayers affected by the emergency.  McClain’s authority, if he so chooses to use it, also applies to school district income taxes, municipal income taxes administered by the state, and certain fees administered by the Department of Taxation.  OSCPA is urging the Tax Commissioner to also extend the due dates for first and second quarter estimated payments.  The federal government has only extended the first quarter to date.

The municipal income tax due dates for individuals are tied to the state filing deadline, so the cities’ deadlines will automatically extend when the state extension takes place.  Because many employees are working from home, H.B. 197 also keeps the status quo for withholding to the employee’s principal place of work (despite the “20-day rule”) during the emergency period, or within 30 days thereafter. H.B. 197 includes an emergency clause so all provisions will become effective immediately upon signature.

Other provisions of the bill would:

  • Bar disconnection of public water service.
  • Extend voting by mail to allow counting of absentee ballots postmarked by April 28.
  • Make allowances for people whose licenses of various kinds will expire during the emergency.
  • Grant local governments flexibility to meet remotely, with provisions for public participation
  • Waive state testing and report cards for this academic year.
  • Waive usual requirements to permit high school seniors who were on track before the crisis to graduate.
  • Expand eligibility for unemployment compensation.
  • Allow a one-time transfer from the Rainy-Day Fund this fiscal year, with Controlling Board approval.

As news of the coronavirus continues to develop, refer to OSCPA’s resource page to stay informed. 

Related:

Read the bill: House Bill 197

HB 197 summary

HB 197 tax amendment

6 comments

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  1. Carol Crookston | Apr 28, 2020

    I understand tax filing extension to 7-15-2020 A.D.   But what are the limitations for reporting information like the K-1 Report.

    In Christo et Maria,

    Carol Crookston 

  2. Barb Benton | Mar 30, 2020

    Marty:   Yes, the release linked in Greg Saul's comment includes extension of first and second quarter estimated payments to July 15 as follows:

    "Individuals, estates, trusts and certain businesses making quarterly estimated income tax payments, have also been granted additional time to file and pay without penalty or interest. The first and second quarterly payments, normally scheduled for April 15 and June 15 for most taxpayers, have both been extended to July 15.

    The Department of Taxation further stated it will be issuing additional guidance in the next few days.

    Don:  To the best of our knowledge the Ohio Motor Fuel Tax payment has not been extended.

  3. Marty | Mar 30, 2020
    Any word on extension for 1st quarter estimated income taxes?
  4. Greg Saul | Mar 27, 2020

    Mike, 

    Yes, Governor DeWine signed H.B. 197 today and the Ohio Department of Taxation released the following alert soon thereafter: https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Portals/0/communications/news_releases/Incometaxfilingextended03272020.pdf

    The Department of Taxation will be issuing more detailed guidelines in the next few days.

  5. Mike | Mar 27, 2020
    Has the action referred to in paragraph 6 above been taken?
  6. Don Poling | Mar 26, 2020
    any extension of tome to pay monthly Ohio Motor Fuel Taxes by licensed fuel dealers? Next payment is due March 31st. Thank you

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