News Releases

News Release

November 3, 2005 - CAT Registration Deadline is November 15: Businesses Can Go Online to Meet Requirement

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Companies doing business in Ohio are being urged to register by the November 15 deadline for the new Commercial Activity Tax (CAT).  The tax on business is being phased in over five years while two other business taxes – the corporation franchise and tangible personal property taxes – are being phased out for most businesses.

Ohio-based companies with more than $150,000 in taxable gross receipts in a calendar year and out-of-state companies doing business in Ohio must register for the tax under provisions of the state’s most recent two-year budget bill which took effect July 1.

“We anticipate most Ohio business taxpayers will register on time.  For most, this means they must register by November 15,” Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins stated.  “We’ve worked to make the process as easy as possible by setting up two options for online registration. Taxpayers can register either through the Ohio Business Gateway (obg.ohio.gov) or the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) Web site (tax.ohio.gov).”  Wilkins says there is a one-time fee for registration of $15 for online registration or $20 for a paper registration. Businesses with multiple member companies pay the fee for each company but no more than $200. The fee is given as a full credit when the taxpayer files its first return. (Scannable paper registration forms are available by calling ODT at 1-800-282-1782.)

The CAT is a broad-based, low-rate tax on a business’ gross receipts. It applies to both in-state and out-of-state businesses and, in general, is based on gross receipts from the sale of property or the benefit of services received in Ohio.  For the first semi-annual period from July 1 to December 31, 2005, the CAT rate will be 0.06 percent on gross receipts in excess of $500,000.

The first return is due February 10, 2006. In addition to excluding businesses with taxable gross receipts of less than $150,000, the CAT does not apply to certain other businesses such as nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, insurance companies and some of their affiliates.  Financial and insurance companies will continue to be liable for the corporation franchise tax with no phasing out of the tax rate.

ODT has sent out two mailings alerting businesses to the CAT requirements and this week began an advertising campaign reminding businesses in and outside of Ohio of the registration deadline.

Businesses with CAT questions are encouraged to visit tax.ohio.gov or call 1-888-722-8829.

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