Ohio’s tax amnesty program for consumer's use tax is fast approaching the May 1, 2013 expiration date. The program allows a business to "catch up" on its use tax liability with no penalties or interest.
Benefits of participating in the amnesty program are:
- Periods prior to January 1, 2009 are forgiven;
- No penalty charges;
- No interest charges, and
- No civil action or criminal prosecution charges for failure to file or pay Ohio use tax.
In general, consumer's use tax applies to purchases of all taxable tangible personal property stored, used or consumed in Ohio and select services with benefit of use in Ohio, if appropriate sales tax was not paid to the vendor.
Certain taxpayers do not qualify for the program including those that have already received an assessment for use tax. Businesses currently under an audit can still qualify if no assessment has been made. All requests for amnesty are filed through the Ohio Business Gateway. Taxpayers who do not qualify for consumer’s use tax amnesty may still qualify for a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA).
Careful analysis is necessary before applying for the amnesty program. If a taxpayer applies for amnesty and the Ohio Department of Taxation denies the request, an assessment for the use tax liability plus interest will be issued and the benefits under the program are lost. Also, once a tax payment is made under the program and later it is determined the tax should not have been assessed, the previous payment(s) are non-refundable. Finally, candidates in the program will be required to register and file use tax returns on an ongoing basis.