Ohio House Passes Tax Amnesty Bill

Ohio taxpayers may have something to look forward to in 2022. On Dec. 8, 2021, the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 45, which creates a special tax amnesty program from July 1 to Aug. 31, 2022.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law by the governor, the tax amnesty program would apply to the following delinquent state and local taxes:

  • State income tax.
  • Sales and use tax.1
  • Public utility excise tax.
  • MCF (natural gas) excise tax.
  • Cigarette/tobacco/vaping excise taxes.
  • Fuel use tax.
  • Casino wagering tax.
  • Wireless 9-1-1 charges.
  • Horse racing taxes.
  • Commercial activity tax.
  • Financial institutions tax.
  • Kilowatt-hour tax.
  • Alcoholic beverage taxes.
  • Motor fuel excise tax.
  • Petroleum activity tax.
  • Severance taxes.
  • Tire fees.

The amnesty program would also apply to delinquent state income tax withholding remittances by employers. Notably, it does not apply to local/municipal income tax withholding obligations by employers or local/municipal income taxes.

The amnesty would only be available to taxes that were due and payable as of the statute’s effective date that were unreported or underreported. The amnesty program would not apply to any tax for which a notice of assessment or audit has been issued, for which a tax bill has been issued, or for which an audit has been conducted or is pending.

If, during the amnesty period, a taxpayer pays the full amount of delinquent taxes or fees owed, the Ohio tax commissioner must waive all penalties and accrued interest that would have been charged on the amount outstanding. Further, a person who pays the amount due would be immune from state criminal prosecution or any civil action with respect to the tax or fee paid, and no assessment may be issued against the person for that tax or fee. The Ohio tax commissioner can require amnesty program participants to complete and file corrected tax returns and reports.

H.B. 45 is currently under review by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The Senate will not consider this bill until 2022 because there are no committee meetings or sessions scheduled for the remainder of December.

The attorneys in Taft’s Tax practice will continue to monitor and provide updates on the development of Ohio’s tax amnesty program. Please contact the authors with any questions.

1Applies to state, county, and transit authority sales and use tax.

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