September 9, 2003 - Operation
Pay Up tags Businesses ignoring Ohio Sales Tax
Laws (Tax Enforcement
Officers send 24 owners to court)
(Columbus) – Enforcement agents with the Ohio Department of
Taxation (ODT) recently helped recover sales taxes exceeding
$165,000 from 24 businesses in Hancock, Seneca, Huron and
Erie counties, that collected but didn’t pay the tax to the
state of Ohio.
The owners of the businesses received criminal citations for
failing to file sales tax returns. They had to go to court
and all were ordered to pay the back taxes, plus interest,
penalties and court costs. They also faced the possibility of
spending up to 60 days in jail. Collectively, the owners
failed to file 375 sales tax returns.
Agents working Operation Pay Up are investigating businesses
with active vendor’s licenses that have not filed tax returns
for at least six months.
Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas M. Zaino says the program will
eventually reach every county in Ohio, "Our purpose is not
only to collect back taxes, but to get those delinquent
taxpayers back in compliance with Ohio’s tax laws."
Zaino says the state, local governments and consumers expect
businesses to remit taxes they collect, and when they don’t,
everyone pays. "Businesses have a legal obligation to pay to
the state the taxes they collect under the state’s authority.
When they keep the tax money, for whatever reason, they’re
committing a crime. Beyond that, they’re forcing all of us to
pay more tax to make up for what they’ve kept."
Zaino encouraged businesses that have not filed, to get their
tax affairs up-to-date.
"If they pay up before we find them, it will be a lot cheaper
than waiting until after we find them. And, we will find
Sales tax revenues support services provided by the state and
(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT
Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903).