News Releases

News Release

January 8, 2003  -  Pilot Program Replaces Paper for Franklin County Sales Tax Filers (Electronic Filing Options include the Internet and the Telephone)

COLUMBUS, Ohio  – More than 17,500 Franklin County businesses will soon be the first in Ohio to move into the future of filing sales taxes.

Beginning in February 2003 those businesses will no longer file paper sales tax returns. As part of a pilot project, Franklin County vendors that file the ST-10 (single county) sales tax return will have two options for filing that return with the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT). Both options are 'paperless.'

Businesses can choose to file on the Internet through the state's Ohio Business Gateway or by phone using TeleFile, Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas M. Zaino said.

The principal advantage of electronic filing, Zaino says, is a significant saving of time and money for ODT, and consequently Ohio taxpayers.

"Based on our experience with other taxes, electronic filing cuts the department's processing costs at least fifty percent. For us and the taxpayer, electronic filing is simply the most efficient, accurate and secure way to file," he said.

If the pilot program goes well in Franklin County, Zaino expects to offer this paperless system statewide in 2004.

Tax booklets with instructions on how to TeleFile or use the Ohio Business Gateway are being sent to all vendors in Franklin County in early January. The first filing deadline for this paperless system is February 23rd.

Businesses that have questions or need assistance may call 1-888-405-4039 toll-free or stop by one of the two ODT Taxpayer Service Centers in Columbus: on the 20th floor of the Rhodes Tower at 30 E. Broad St., downtown, or at 800 Freeway Drive, which is just off Sinclair Road on the north side.

Taxpayers who want to file through the Ohio Business Gateway can access that system from the ODT web site at http://tax.ohio.gov/ or go directly to the site at www.ohiobusinessgateway.ohio.gov.

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(For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director, Ohio Department of Taxation at (614) 644-6903.)

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Ohio Department of Taxation's
Franklin County
Sales Tax Electronic Filing Pilot Program (1/8/03)

  • More than 17,500 Franklin County businesses (vendors) will in 2003 participate in a pilot program that offers electronic filing only of sales tax returns. These businesses all file the 'single county' sales tax return (ST-10).
     
  • Beginning February 2003, the Department of Taxation will no longer offer the option of filing paper returns (ST-10 form) for tax collected and remitted from sales in Franklin County.
     
  • The pilot project instead involves offering two electronic ('paperless') filing options:
    • Over the telephone using TeleFile.
    • Over the Internet using the Ohio Business Gateway.
       
  • Paperless filing will save the state of Ohio at least 50 percent of the cost of processing a paper sales tax return (based on experience with other taxes).
     
  • Paperless filing can also save businesses time and money, and allows them to file up to the due date without fear of being late. (Taxpayers are being advised to not wait until the last minute to avoid being blocked out by the rush of last-minute filers.)
     
  • Whether filing by phone or on the Internet, businesses with tax due have two electronic payment options:
    • By credit card (MasterCard, American Express, Discover). This service is offered through a third-party provider, Official Payments Corp., for a fee of 2.5% of the tax payment (or $1.00, whichever is greater).
    • By electronic check. Using an electronic check that draws from either a checking or savings account, allows payments to be delayed, but no later than the due date of the return. This payment option is similar to using a debit card.
       
  • Tax booklets with complete instructions on how to TeleFile and use the Ohio Business Gateway are being sent to all Franklin County vendors in Jan. 2003.
     
  • The first filing deadline for the pilot program in Franklin County is Feb. 23, 2003.
     
  • Business taxpayers with questions or who need assistance may call 1-888-405-4039 (toll free) or stop by one of the two Ohio Department of Taxation Service Centers in Franklin County:
    • On the 20th floor of the Rhodes Tower, 30 E. Broad St., in downtown Columbus.
    • Or, at 800 Freeway Dr., which is just off Sinclair Road on the city's north side.
       
  • Taxpayers who choose to file via the Ohio Business Gateway can access it through the ODT web site at http://tax.ohio.gov/ or go directly to the Ohio Business Gateway at www.ohiobusinessgateway.ohio.gov
     
  • If the pilot program goes well, 'paperless' sales tax filing is expected to be offered statewide in 2004.