Centralized filing registrations gain momentum as March begins

Written on Mar 08, 2018

OSCPA staff report

A flurry of registrations last week raised the number of businesses opting in to centralized filing of municipal net profits taxes to more than 2,000 – and still counting.

The deadline passed March 1 for businesses with a calendar year-end to opt in for centralized filing of municipal net profits taxes for the 2018 tax year. Despite two lawsuits and a RITA-led, taxpayer funded advertising campaign in February attempting to cast doubt on the system, registrations increased dramatically as the month ended.

“Given the amount of uncertainty and friction around this new option,” said Ohio Department of Taxation spokesman Gary Gudmundson, “and given the short time span in which to get the word out and alert businesses to the signup, attracting more than 2,300 business taxpayers – and more than 1,100 in the last two days – is a clear signal that this option has tremendous appeal. We’ve seen many single-city taxpayers, and a few who file in hundreds of cities who’ve opted in.”

“As awareness grows, we fully expect the customer base to grow significantly too.”

All businesses that opted in already should have notified all cities where they filed last year – the deadline for notification was the same March 1 timeframe to opt in. The next deadline for calendar-year-end businesses is the first-quarter estimated payment, due April 15.

Close to 150 cities had filed two lawsuits – later merged into one by the court – claiming the municipal income tax reforms passed into law last year as part of Am. Sub. House Bill 49 were unconstitutional. Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cain ruled against the cities, throwing out the lawsuit and denying an injunction that would have halted registration.

The cities have appealed the ruling to the 10th District Court of Appeals, and Cain on March 5 denied a motion by cities to “stay” his decision on centralized collection while the appeal is pending. So, registration continues for future years, as well as for businesses with fiscal years that don’t match the calendar.

Don’t have a calendar year end? OSCPA has prepared this chart to help you determine the pertinent deadlines for your business.

Click here to opt in now with the Ohio Department of Taxation. More details are available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Taxpayer Information Guide. Finally, be sure to stay up to date on this important issue on OSCPA’s municipal tax reform webpage.

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