News Releases

News Release

February 1, 2006 - CAT First Return Deadline is Feb. 10: Businesses Can Go Online for Smooth Filing

COLUMBUS, Ohio - – Ohio business taxpayers have fewer than ten days to go before the due date of the inaugural return of the state’s new business tax, the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT). The CAT’s first filing deadline is Friday, Feb. 10.

The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is encouraging businesses to file their CAT returns online through the Ohio Business Gateway (obg.ohio.gov) to save time and avoid a last-minute mailing crunch.

Taxpayers who do not know the extent of their taxable gross receipts by the filing deadline can file an estimated return. That option requires a tax payment based on at least 85% of the actual, taxable gross receipts. The remainder is due on the next scheduled return. The first filing period for CAT covers the period July 1 through Dec. 31, 2005.

The CAT is a tax for the privilege of doing business in Ohio. It is being phased in over the next five years as two other business taxes, the corporation franchise and tangible personal property, are phased out.

“It’s fair, and it encourages capital investment,” Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins said of the CAT. He also described it as a broad-based tax.

Businesses with taxable gross receipts of $150,000 or more must pay the CAT. To date, more than 260,000 businesses and individuals have registered with ODT. Although the registration deadline was Nov. 15, 2005, businesses and individuals who have not registered can still do so. ODT has not been imposing penalties on late registrants but may do so in the future. The penalty is $100 per month to a maximum of $1,000.

People with questions about the CAT may visit the ODT web site at tax.ohio.gov and look under “What’s New” for the latest CAT information, or may call 1-888-722-8829.

                                                                   

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For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT Communications Director, at (614)644-6896.