Ohio bills would make sure businesses get tax refunds

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/24/2014

An effort underway at the Ohio statehouse would make sure that trucking operations and other businesses in the state get any available refunds.

Ohio law now authorizes overpayments to be refunded, but only upon request and only during the first three or four years, within the statute of limitations. Any unclaimed money is routed to the state general fund.

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced companion bills that would require the Ohio Department of Taxation to notify businesses in the state when they overpay their taxes and provide automatic refunds in the form of credits toward future taxes.

“It’s hard to believe that the Department of Taxation did not notify taxpayers when they overpaid,” Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington, said in prepared remarks. “I would expect this to be standard practice, as well as automatic refunds or rollovers.”

The changes sought would require the state to notify taxpayers within 60 days of the end of that three- or four-year period.

HB402 and SB263 would add the requirement to the tax commissioner’s responsibilities that taxpayers be notified of overpayments so they can claim a refund. Taxpayers could also be credited toward future taxes.

“Through this legislation, we are making certain that future tax commissioners will be required by law to do the right thing and return these overpayments back into the pockets of the taxpayer where it belongs,” stated Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Sabina.

In 2013, Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer issued a report that found the Department of Taxation failed to refund more than $30 million in state taxes overpaid by businesses and often ignored requests for refunds.

HB402 is in the House Ways and Means Committee. SB263 is in the Senate Finance Committee.

Copyright © OOIDA