News Releases

News Release

October 7, 2005 - Ohio Onboard with New and Streamlined Sales Tax System

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio joined with 17 other states this week in rolling out a new system for providing more uniform procedures for collecting sales/use taxes from out-of-state sellers (e.g. catalogue and Internet vendors).

The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement officially took effect Saturday, October 1. On that same date, a centralized registration process for multi-state sellers to use was put into operation. A link to this centralized registration system can be found at the Ohio Department of Taxation web site (tax.ohio.gov) or the system can be accessed directly at www.sstregister.org/sellers .

The agreement also finalizes the process for selecting software companies, called Certified Service Providers (CSP), that will act as liaisons between the states and the retailers. A CSP can facilitate the process of collecting tax on Internet and catalogue sales and then transferring the tax to the state where the tax is due. Retailers, not under audit, who register with the streamlined system to collect sales/use taxes, are offered an amnesty for any potential tax liabilities for sales made prior to registering and on which no tax was collected.

Retailers, by registering, agree to collect taxes for full member states. They can also voluntarily elect to collect sales/use taxes for associate member states. Ohio is an associate member state now and will become a full member in 2008.

States with full-member status are Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia. Besides Ohio, other associate member states are Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Nevada will become an associate member on January 1, 2006. Other states are also expected to come on board in the near future.

“This is an important step in an ongoing process that should ultimately assist Ohio and its localities to collect millions of dollars in sales and use tax revenues that are currently going uncollected,” said Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins. “Those revenues are important to state and local governments but equally important, this agreement will help level the playing field for Ohio retailers trying to compete with out-of-state companies that charge no sales tax.”

Wilkins says he’s optimistic that Ohio’s participation in the agreement will help reduce the estimated $600 million annually in uncollected state and local sales taxes on goods sold to Ohioans through the mail or online.

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For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT communications director, at 614-644-6903.