January 15, 2002 - Columbus, Ohio
- (More) Tax Changes for the
COLUMBUS – A new taxpayer services bill that
takes another step towards reducing red tape for taxpayers
and modernizing Ohio’s tax laws had it’s first hearing today
in the Ohio General Assembly. Senate Bill 200 is sponsored by
State Senator Robert F. Spada, (R-Parma Heights/Cuyahoga
Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas Zaino, in testimony before the
Senate Ways & Means committee, noted that this is the
second taxpayer services bill developed recently by the Ohio
Department of Taxation (ODT). House Bill 612, the first
Taxpayer Services Bill, was approved unanimously by the
General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Bob Taft in
June of 2000.
"Senate Bill 200 is an important step toward modernizing our
operations and the tax law in a "taxpayer friendly" way,"
Zaino said. "This bill contains over 20 categories of changes
to Ohio’s tax law making it more taxpayer friendly and more
efficient for the Department." Zaino added that the changes
are substantially revenue neutral, meaning they will not cost
taxpayers or the state money.
He also noted that the changes were reviewed by and reflect
input from a number of business and industry organizations
including, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Trucking
Association, the Ohio Society of Certified Professional
Accountants, and the Ohio State Bar Association.
Provisions in the proposed legislation include:
--Permitting ODT to reveal a vendor’s name, license number,
and business address, whether the vendor is registered to
collect Ohio sales tax and whether the account is active or
inactive. This would allow consumers to learn whether
businesses purporting to collect Ohio sales are use tax are
actually registered to collect.
--Allowing consumers to apply directly to ODT for sales and
use tax refunds in certain circumstances, thus eliminating
the step of going through a vendor to get a refund.
--Codifying ODT’s practice of working with taxpayers to
correct assessment notices of tax delinquencies. Currently,
disputes over the accuracy of an assessment receive an
administrative hearing, which adds to the time it takes to
get an issue resolved. The new procedure allows corrections
to be made to the assessment, based on proper documentation
and without a hearing. The proposed bill still allows a
taxpayer the option of a hearing, if requested.
--Codifying the department’s practice of providing a hearing
when an application for a refund is partially or totally
denied. This change includes the right to appeal the ODTs
decision on a refund to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals.
--Changing the law to relieve individual taxpayers of
liability for income tax that their employer withheld but did
not remit to the state. Currently, a taxpayer is still
responsible for paying income taxes, even if their employer
has withheld the tax and not paid it to the state.
--Providing "safe harbor" language that eliminates penalties
when corporate franchise taxpayers make estimated payments
during the taxable year. When a taxpayer pays 100 percent of
the previous year’s liability or 90 percent of the current
year’s tax liability, which ever is less, the penalty will be
waived. Interest, however, would still be calculated
according to the due dates of the payment.
A complete text of the proposed legislation as well
as an abbreviated fact sheet on the legislation is available
at the ODT home page at http://tax.ohio.gov/
(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson,
Communications Director, Ohio Department of Taxation at