Ohio law now in effect ensures businesses get tax refunds

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 9/17/2014

Tax officials in the state of Ohio now are responsible for making sure that trucking operations and other businesses in the state get any available refunds.

Until now, Ohio law authorized 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.

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

Joe Testa, commissioner of the Ohio Department of Taxation, referred to it as “an outrageous practice going on at the tax department for a long period of time.”

The tax department has since started contacting businesses to inform them of overpayments.

Effective Wednesday, Sept. 17, the new law requires the agency to notify businesses in the state when they overpay their taxes and either issue a refund or provide automatic refunds in the form of credits toward future taxes.

Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Sabina, said in previous remarks that the rule change makes “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.”

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

Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, said that most businesses don’t know they’ve overpaid their taxes. He said the new law will require the tax commissioner to notify taxpayers of overpayments and “will create the most taxpayer friendly refund law in the Midwest.”

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