News Releases

News Release

October 23, 2001  -  Columbus, Ohio  - TAFT PROMOTES TAX AMNESTY OPPORTUNITY

COLUMBUS – Ohio Gov. Bob Taft today urged taxpayers who have fallen behind on their taxes to hurry and take advantage of Ohio’s first-ever Tax Amnesty program, for themselves, their neighbors and the state.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for eligible taxpayers to settle their bill at the lowest possible cost, but I would emphasize that tax amnesty runs only through January 15, 2002," Taft said, and added, "We won’t be offering this opportunity again."

He said tax amnesty offers an incentive to delinquent taxpayers to step forward and pay their debt in full. Those who are eligible will pay no penalties and only half the interest normally charged. The amnesty offer is available only to taxpayers with a tax liability that is unknown or not yet discovered by the Ohio Department of Taxation.

"Ohio Tax Amnesty is important to the state and local governments, too," Taft continued. "Times are tight and the revenue from amnesty is critical to our efforts to provide services that are important to all Ohioans." The Department of Taxation estimates the program will generate about $17 million immediately and then up to $5 million annually afterwards from newly enrolled taxpayers.

Taxes covered by the program are: personal and school district income, sales and use, employer and school district withholding, pass-through entity, corporate franchise, public utility excise and personal property. Amnesty is available for taxes that were due on or before May 1, 2001 and only unknown liabilities, meaning those for which the Department of Taxation, has not issued a bill, an assessment or begun audit proceedings.

Tax Amnesty applications are available at any Ohio Department of Taxation Service Center, by calling 1-888-405-4039 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by downloading the form from the department web site at: http://tax.ohio.gov/.  Applications also are available at many County Auditor’s offices.

Completed applications, returns and payment of the tax and interest owed should be sent to the Ohio Department of Taxation, PO Box 2619, Columbus, Ohio 43216-2619. Returns mailed to another address or without the amnesty application may result in a denial of amnesty.

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For more information contact: Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director, Ohio Department of Taxation; (614) 644-6903 or Mary Anne Sharkey, Director of Communications, Office of Governor Bob Taft, (614) 644-0957