Ohio Senate approves bill to ensure businesses get tax refunds

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A legislative pursuit halfway through the Ohio statehouse would make sure that trucking operations and other businesses in the state get any available tax refunds.

Ohio law now authorizes overpayments of taxes 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.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill 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. SB263 has moved to the House.

“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,” Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Sabina, said in a press release.

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

The bill would also 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.

Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, said that most businesses don’t know they’ve overpaid their taxes.

“Senate Bill 263 will require the tax commissioner to notify taxpayers of overpayments and will create the most taxpayer-friendly refund law in the Midwest,” Beagle stated.

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.

SB263 awaits assignment to committee in the House.

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