Simpler Business Net Income Tax Filing is Finally Here

A major improvement in how Ohio businesses file and pay their municipal income taxes is finally here. Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa announced last week that registration is now open for businesses to use a central filing system for municipal net profit taxes effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. Businesses will now have the option to opt-in to the new state-managed system, which gives them the opportunity to file one return that covers all the municipalities in which they are required to report. Previously, many businesses were required to file in each municipality, some businesses filing hundreds of returns.

If this option is elected, the Ohio Department of Taxation will process the returns and distribute payments to the municipalities, and the state will handle administrative functions, including appeals and audits. Businesses need to register for the service to take advantage of it. Registration can be done on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website at http://www.tax.ohio.gov/MunicipalTax.aspx or by filling out a paper registration form.

This centralized collection of municipal net profits taxes was a hot topic during budget discussions. Remember that municipal groups argued against the proposal, questioning the state’s authority to collect municipal taxes and criticizing the 0.5 percent administrative fee to be charged to municipalities. There is currently a discussion about a lawsuit against the state by a group of municipalities.

The department of taxation is in the process of upgrading the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG) to allow business taxpayers to link commercial tax software. They are also working to have the ability for taxpayers to submit attachments electronically to the OBG by late 2018, in time for the filings to begin.

Ohio Chamber of Commerce is very appreciative of the legislature’s inclusion of this opportunity in the budget. We believe it will greatly reduce the cost of doing business in Ohio. It will also simplify the administration of the tax for all concerned. A side benefit will be better utilization of technology to increase collections for the municipalities.

We at the Ohio Chamber value your opinions and stand ready to help our members any way we can.

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