News Releases

News Release

December 8, 2005 - Ohio Department of Taxation Offers Amnesty to Delinquent Taxpayers for a Limited Time - From January 1 to February 15, 2006, individuals and businesses can pay off previous tax debt with no penalty fee and one-half of the interest waived

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In the New Year, many taxpayers owing delinquent taxes will be given the opportunity for a “fresh start” with the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT). From January 1 to February 15, 2006, the Department is offering “amnesty” to certain taxpayers – individuals and businesses unknown to the state – in and outside of Ohio through the 2006 Ohio Tax Amnesty Program.

During this time, eligible taxpayers may submit payments for qualifying unreported or underreported tax delinquencies with no penalties and one-half of the interest charges. Delinquent taxpayers who choose to use amnesty must make full and prompt payment of any balance due during the amnesty period.

“Tax Amnesty is one part of the historic tax reforms passed into law earlier this year,” said William W. Wilkins, Ohio Tax Commissioner. “With these reforms, which substantially modernize Ohio’s tax laws, nearly every Ohio taxpayer will see some tax relief. Additionally, participating in the tax amnesty program is a smart decision for affected taxpayers and businesses to make. They can save money and limit their liability and exposure.”

Due to the recent changes and general complexity of the tax code, the Department recognizes that some taxpayers may be unaware of past tax liabilities or problems. Commissioner Wilkins is encouraging taxpayers to seek more information about tax amnesty by visiting www.taxamnestyohio.com or by calling 1-888-405-4039.

The qualifying taxes that may be considered for the 2006 Tax Amnesty program are:

  • Employer Withholding Tax
  • Sales & Use Tax\
  • Corporate Franchise Tax
  • Personal Income Tax
  • Pass-Through Entity Tax
  • Personal Property Tax
  • Individual and School District Income Tax
  • Employer School District Withholding Tax

“The Department is conducting outreach efforts now to make taxpayers aware of this limited-time opportunity, well in advance, so they have time to talk with their tax professional, collect the appropriate forms and send their tax payment to the Department by February 15, 2006,” said Wilkins.

The Department has launched an advertising campaign to inform tax professionals and taxpayers about the amnesty program which includes print, radio and television.

As an additional convenience to taxpayers, ODT is accepting applications beginning on December 15.

“With just a six-week window of opportunity, tax professionals and taxpayers should be talking with one another now about tax amnesty because it may be the lowest-cost solution to resolve previous tax delinquencies,” said David Adler, certified public accountant (CPA) with Deloitte Tax LLP and chair of the Tax Policy Committee at the Ohio Society of CPAs. “The Ohio Department of Taxation has put many tools in place to help educate taxpayers about amnesty and to provide them with resources to determine if they qualify.”

From now until February 15, 2006, ODT is encouraging taxpayers and tax professionals to visit www.taxamnestyohio.com or call 1-888-405-4039, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to obtain more information about tax amnesty. Frequently asked questions, downloadable amnesty applications and tax forms, a checklist, and a tax calculator that figures the amount of tax and interest owed are all available to help direct consumers through the amnesty qualification and application processes.

Taxpayers who have been previously notified of a delinquency, been billed or assessed by the Department of Taxation or are currently under audit by the Department are not eligible for amnesty.

To obtain tax amnesty, taxpayers must file a completed tax amnesty application form, along with the returns and payment of the taxes and interest due with the Ohio Department of Taxation by February 15, 2006.

Commissioner Wilkins noted that now is the time to come forward because of the new and expanded abilities of the Tax Department to find and collect delinquent taxes.

“The Department is making great strides to find delinquent taxpayers and collect outstanding taxes. We’ve recently formed the Tax Discovery division which is developing new ways to find taxes owed to the State, and we’ve allocated significant resources to our Audit and Operating division to increase efforts of finding and recovering unpaid taxes,” he said.

The Ohio Department of Taxation also has heightened its ability for tax discovery through increased data gathering, improved technologies and enhanced communication between other state agencies, other states’ departments of revenue and the IRS.

Media Contact: Vaughn Lombardo at (614) 466-7120.