Watch: OSCPA faces off with centralized filing opponents

Written on Feb 01, 2018

OSCPA staff report

There is no shortage of Ohio businesses that will be affected by a centralized system of filing municipal net profits taxes.

“You do see a lot of businesses operating in multiple municipalities,” OSCPA member Patrick Walsh, CPA, said Monday.

Walsh, senior tax accountant at Cohen & Company, and OSCPA’s Tax Policy Director, Greg Saul, Esq., CAE, were part of a panel discussion on centralized filing and collection on The Sound of Ideas on Cleveland NPR station WCPN. They were opposed by representatives from the Ohio Municipal League and Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA).

“Some [businesses] are very familiar with the Ohio Business Gateway, which the opt-in would be run through, or they’re looking to us as tax practitioners to prepare net profit returns,” Walsh said. “If they’re operating in multiple municipalities, they could be working in multiple areas that are covered by RITA or [the Central Collection Agency] or are on a standalone basis.”

Under Ohio’s former system, which is wrapping up this year pending the outcome of court challenges by cities, only municipalities collect their own net profits taxes or contract with organizations like RITA to collect them. That becomes exceedingly complicated as businesses operate in multiple municipalities, some of which work with RITA and some of which don’t.

Walsh shared an example of a business working in 100 municipalities. If 70% of the municipalities work with RITA and CCA, that means 30% don’t, so that business would still have to file 32 tax returns: one with RITA, one with CCA, and 30 individual returns with the remaining cities.

Saul pointed out that often the amount owed to each city costs less than the expense for the paperwork. “What we’re talking about here is $800 million in compliance costs to businesses to collect $600 million in taxes,” he said. “Businesses have been asking for years for a system where they could make one filing, make one payment and cut down on these compliance costs.” Now it’s available.

Watch the entire segment now.

Opt in now!

Enrolling taxpayers must register with the Ohio Department of Taxation and notify each municipality of their choice to opt-in by the first day of the third month of the taxpayer’s taxable year. For example, for calendar year filers that date is March 1, creating more urgency for those businesses to take full advantage of the system for making quarterly estimated payments in 2018 and filing their annual return in 2019.

OSCPA members should urge those who would benefit to register now on ODT’s website to opt in for centralized filing and payment. After registering, businesses must also notify each municipal corporation in which the taxpayer conducted business during the previous taxable year by sending Form MNP MN to each municipality, unless the taxpayer is a new business.


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  1. Other Ohio Constitution provisions | Feb 02, 2018
    Art. XVIII, § 13 provides that the General Assembly may “limit the power of municipalities to levy taxes and incur debts,” and Art. XIII, § 6, states that the General Assembly “shall provide for the organization of cities, and incorporated villages, by general laws, and restrict their power of taxation… so as to prevent the abuse of such power.”
  2. CPA and Council Member | Feb 02, 2018
    Did the State of Ohio ignore "Home Rule?"  Does the OSCPA not know about "Home Rule?"  This is an Ohio constitutional item that allows the municipalities certain rites.  Get your ego out of this and learn what the Ohio Supreme Court mandated many years ago. 
  3. Member | Feb 01, 2018
    The next step is for the state of Ohio to extend centralized billing for individuals.  It was an authority given to each city by the state of Ohio and it is the authority of the state of Ohio to end it.  
  4. Member | Feb 01, 2018
    Municipal income taxes are a major business detractor to business coming to Ohio.  Being from another state, I would NEVER locate a business in Ohio due to the inane municipal tax system.
  5. CPA Member | Feb 01, 2018
    Title in no way goes with article

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