January 2, 2002 - Columbus, Ohio
- Governor Urges Delinquent State
Taxpayers to Act Now
(Columbus) -- With less than two weeks remaining in Ohio’s
first-ever Tax Amnesty program, Governor Bob Taft is urging
delinquent state taxpayers to act now to avoid facing the
risk of potentially expensive regrets.
"This is an opportunity for honest and good citizens to come
forward and pay their overlooked or delinquent taxes," said
But if eligible taxpayers don’t come forward by January 15th,
they could very well be making a costly decision. "The
Department of Taxation (ODT) will be launching an aggressive
audit enforcement program when Amnesty ends, and the odds are
a lot greater that we will find those who haven’t been paying
their fair share," said Tax Commissioner Thomas M. Zaino.
Zaino said the ODT audit staff has been increased by
one-third to more than 150 full-time auditors. Taxpayers who
choose the ‘one-time-only’ opportunity offered with tax
amnesty will pay no penalty and only half the normal
interest. An amnesty application, all returns and full
payment of tax and half-interest due must be submitted by
January 15th to qualify for amnesty.
Through December 27th, nearly 13,000 taxpayers have applied
for amnesty. Payments received total $13,659,441. Amnesty
began October 15, 2001.
Anticipating a last-minute rush, ODT will be extending hours
of service to delinquent taxpayers beginning January
7th. Taxpayer service staff will be answering the
toll-free Tax Amnesty hotline from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on
January 7-11, 14-15, and from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on
Saturday, January 12. The hotline is 1-888-405-4039.
Information is also available on the ODT website: http://tax.ohio.gov/
Tax amnesty is available only to ‘unknown’ delinquent
taxpayers, meaning the taxpayer hasn’t been billed, assessed,
or contacted for an audit by ODT. Amnesty covers nine taxes
including individual income, sales and use, personal
property, corporate franchise, school district income,
employer withholding, school district withholding,
pass-through entity, and public utility excise.
ODT has estimated that Tax Amnesty will bring in $17 million,
and in following years, an additional $5 million from newly
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(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT
Communications Director at 614/644-6903).