December 10, 2001 - Columbus, Ohio
- Tax Amnesty Collections Top $6 Million at Halfway
COLUMBUS – Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas M.
Zaino said today (12/10/01) that taxpayer response to the
state’s first-ever Tax Amnesty and the amount of money
collected at the halfway mark of the program is encouraging.
"Based on what we’ve seen from other states offering a tax
amnesty, Ohio is on track to reach the $17 million dollar
goal we set. We have been working very hard to get out the
word that this is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, and
thousands of taxpayers have applied."
Through November 30th, the Ohio Department of
Taxation (ODT) has processed nearly 4,400 taxpayer requests
for amnesty and collected more than $6.1 million. The largest
share of money (36%) has come from sales and use tax
collections, followed by individual income tax (29%),
corporate franchise tax (13%), and employer withholding tax
(8%). Lesser amounts have also been collected for the other
taxes involved including personal property, pass through
entity, school district withholding and school district
"We were expecting most of our dollars to come in from
business taxes, but most of the participants to be individual
taxpayers. That’s holding true." Zaino said. Nearly 2,900
people so far have taken the opportunity to pay delinquent
Zaino noted that most states offering an amnesty collect a
majority of their money in the last couple weeks of the
campaign. Maryland recently completed an amnesty program and
reported that more than 70-percent of the funds came in
during the last few days.
"We will be adding staff and extending our hours at the end
to help taxpayers who want to take advantage of this
opportunity, but time is running out." Zaino said. "When the
amnesty expires we will be stepping up our
enforcement and auditing. It will be a lot less costly for a
taxpayer to come forward now and clean up their back taxes
than if we find them later."
Delinquent taxpayers qualifying for amnesty avoid all
penalties and half the interest normally charged. Amnesty
requires them to file returns and pay all outstanding tax and
half interest before the amnesty program expires. Amnesty is
available only to ‘unknown’ delinquent taxpayers. Taxpayers
that have been billed, assessed, or contacted for audit by
ODT are not eligible.
Taxpayers wanting more information on the amnesty program can
call ODT toll-free at 1-888-405-4039 or visit the
department’s web site at http://tax.ohio.gov/
The last day of the amnesty is January 15, 2002.
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(Contact: Gary Gudmundson, Communications
Director, Ohio Department of Taxation, (614) 644-6903.)