Spread the word: Centralized filing registration is up and running

Written on Jan 18, 2018

OSCPA staff report

Ohio’s new, optional municipal tax filing and collection system is open for business, and it has the potential to save businesses millions of dollars, Tax Commissioner Joe Testa said.

“It is absolutely up and running,” Testa said in the latest episode of OSCPA Spotlight. “We’re getting new registrations almost every day.”

As businesses prepare for tax season, they should register to opt-in by March 1 to centrally file one municipal net profit tax return for the 2018 tax year through the Ohio Business Gateway for processing by the Ohio Department of Taxation. The election is binding for one tax year, but automatically renews year to year unless an electing taxpayer terminates the election.

This option – which has been long sought by OSCPA members – is great news for Ohio businesses that pay quarterly estimates and file annual returns in multiple cities or villages.

“We’re doing this because business has been asking for this for a long time,” Testa said.

His department estimated that if every business in Ohio opted in, it would save them more than $800 million per year in administrative costs of managing multiple filings. That savings could instead be used to expand the economy and create jobs.

“This is a huge impediment and cost to business to file in dozens or hundreds of cities, depending on how many they’re doing business in,” Testa said. “Uniformity is critical. Consistency and simplicity are critical. Because every time you file, it’s additional cost to business.

A group of Ohio cities and villages filed two separate lawsuits in late 2017 that seek to kill recent municipal tax law reforms, but Testa said he is confident the laws are constitutional – a view he shares with OSCPA.

Watch the episode above to learn more.

OSCPA members should urge those who would benefit to register now on ODT’s website to opt in for centralized filing and payment. A business must register on or before the first day of the third month of a taxpayer’s fiscal year (i.e. March 1 for calendar year filers), and also notify each municipal corporation in which the taxpayer conducted business during the previous taxable year by sending Form MNP MN to each municipality.

Centralized Filing Facts:

  • Despite reports by some cities, there is no injunction in place delaying centralized filing.
  • Municipal taxes for businesses that opt in will be administered by ODT – NOT by cities. This means far greater uniformity of treatment and expectations of filing requirements.
  • Participating businesses will file and make one quarterly payment of net profit taxes through the Ohio Business Gateway, starting with estimated quarterly payments in 2018 – no need to process multiple payments any more.
  • The Ohio Department of Taxation will remit payments to the various jurisdictions where tax is due and handle all related administrative tasks, such as refunds and audits.

Bookmark our municipal tax reform webpage where you can find important resources and the latest updates on centralized filing.

3 comments

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  1. Greg Saul, OSCPA Tax Policy Director | Jan 22, 2018

    Practitioners can register and file on behalf of their clients, but as with anything, you should consult each one and obtain their approval first. The electronic registration option allows you to register multiple taxpayers at one time: https://www.tax.ohio.gov/MunicipalTax.aspx

    Please click here for answers to more FAQ's: https://www.tax.ohio.gov/MunicipalTax/FAQ.aspx

  2. Ethnea Ferguson | Jan 22, 2018
    How does this work for a tax practitioner?  Do we register all of our clients?  Do the clients have to register themselves?  Can we as practitioners file all the city returns for our clients or do the clients have to file their own return?
  3. Clerk | Jan 19, 2018

    We made a mistake on a sales tax return that would normally have been caught had there been an error trapping feature either on the input or the checking side with the Department of Taxation.  The people at the ODT told us that there is no way that the OBG filters any of this information.  Neither does the input from the OBG to the ODT get filtered.

    Talking about a dumb box.

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