Commercial Activity Tax

Commercial Activity Tax (CAT): Table of Contents

The commercial activity tax (CAT) is an annual tax imposed on the privilege of doing business in Ohio, measured by gross receipts from business activities in Ohio. Businesses with Ohio taxable gross receipts of $150,000 or more per calendar year must register for the CAT, file all the applicable returns, and make all corresponding payments. A variety of resources on the CAT may be found below. 

 

Important Notices for CAT Taxpayers 

R.C. 5751.07 was amended in the most recent budget bill to allow the Department to require annual CAT taxpayers to file and pay electronically for returns filed on or after Jan. 1, 2014. Taxpayers may file and pay electronically through the Ohio Business Gateway at business.ohio.gov. Alternatively, annual taxpayers may utilize TeleFile as a means for filing and paying the annual CAT return electronically beginning in April 2014.

For tax periods beginning on Jan. 1, 2014 and thereafter, the annual minimum tax (AMT) will become a tiered structure, and taxpayers will pay an amount that corresponds with their overall commercial activity. The taxpayer will utilize its previous calendar year’s taxable gross receipts to determine the current year’s AMT. For more information, please refer to information release CAT 2013-05 – Commercial Activity Tax: Annual Minimum Tax Tiered Structure- Issued October, 2013.

Beginning in calendar year 2013, calendar quarter taxpayers shall apply the full $1 million exclusion amount to the first calendar quarter return for that calendar year and may carry forward and apply any unused exclusion amount to subsequent calendar quarters within that same calendar year. Any unused exclusion amount from calendar year 2012 may not be carried forward into calendar year 2013.

 

About the CAT

Registration

Taxpayers who are not registered for the CAT must register first before filing any return. If a person is unsure of how to register, it is advisable to register as a combined taxpayer group, as any election to consolidate is binding for eight calendar quarters. Requests to change registration status should be made by submitting the form CAT ES.

Filing resources

Taxpayers with taxable gross receipts in excess of $1 million are required to file and pay on a quarterly basis and to make the annual minimum tax payment. Other taxpayers file annually and pay the annual minimum tax.

The 2013 Commercial Activity Tax Annual Return and 2014 Minimum Tax Payment Return is due on May 12, 2014 for annual taxpayers. This return may be filed through the Ohio Business Gateway or by TeleFile. 

  • Ohio Business Gateway (OBG) - The Ohio Business Gateway offers electronic registration and filing tools for the CAT, sales tax, employer withholding, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, and municipal income taxes for nearly 500 cities and villages.
  • TeleFileTeleFile is a quick and easy method to file and pay your CAT annual tax return. The phone number for our TeleFile system is 1.800.697.0440. In order to get started, all you need is a touch-tone telephone and your CAT information. One requirement for TeleFile is that you are registered for a CAT account.  Payment can be made by electronic check.
  • Filing Due Dates - The return for the fourth quarter of 2013 is due Feb. 10, 2014. The 2014 quarterly returns will be due on May 12, 2014 (first quarter), Aug. 11, 2014 (second quarter), Nov. 10, 2014 (third quarter) and Feb. 10, 2015 (fourth quarter). The annual minimum tax is due on May 12, 2014, with the first quarter return for quarterly taxpayers. For annual taxpayers, the annual minimum tax is due on May 12, 2014 with the 2013 Commercial Activity Tax Annual Return and 2014 Minimum Tax Payment Return. For general information on CAT filing due dates, click here.
  • Please direct any questions to the CAT Division at 1.888.722.8829.

Dealer in Intangibles

Am. Sub. H.B. 510 enacted by the 129th General Assembly in December 2012 repealed the dealer in intangibles tax by providing that the tax is in effect only for tax years prior to 2014. Depending on the taxpayer’s Ohio business activity, in 2014 a taxpayer will be responsible for filing either a financial institution tax return or a commercial activity tax return instead of the dealer in intangibles tax return. Taxpayers with dealer in intangibles tax liability for years prior to 2014 that have not filed all required returns should still file those returns with the Department.

Other CAT resources