Press Room: Tax Release

April 23, 2012

2012 Ohio Tax Amnesty Program

The State of Ohio imposes numerous taxes, which include interest and penalty provisions that apply to a taxpayer who fails to file and/or remits payment late. The State recently enacted a tax amnesty program that provides relief from penalties and half the interest for qualifying delinquent taxes paid.

The State also offers a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) program that is open to non-filing taxpayers who have executed an Ohio Tax Agreement prior to any contact from the Ohio Department of Taxation. The VDA program offers a three-year look-back period, but does not abate interest. Voluntary disclosure programs may be more advisable in situations where a taxpayer may have Ohio liabilities related to periods older than three years. Below are the highlights of the amnesty and VDA programs:

Amnesty Program

  • The amnesty program runs from May 1, 2012, through June 15, 2012.
  • Amnesty applies to all periods where the tax was due and payable as of May 1, 2011.
  • Applicable to most taxpayers, subject to the following qualifying delinquent taxes:
    • Individual Income
    • Individual School District Income
    • Commercial Activity Tax (CAT)
    • Sales and Seller’s Use
    • School District Employer Withholding
    • Corporation Franchise
    • Pass-through Entity
    • Estate   
    • Gross Receipts of a Natural Gas Company or a Combined Electric and Gas Company
    • Motor Fuel
    • Cigarette or Other Tobacco Products
    • Dealers in Intangibles
  • Any tax not listed above as well as any tax where the Department has issued a notice of delinquency, bill or assessment, or is under audit by the Department, does not qualify for the amnesty program.
  • To qualify for amnesty, full payment of the unreported or underreported and unpaid tax due and half of the interest must be submitted with the return during the amnesty program.
  • If amnesty is granted, the penalty and remaining half of interest will be waived. The taxpayer will not be subject to criminal prosecution or civil actions with respect to that tax.

Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program

  • The VDA Program is open to non-filing taxpayers if they enter into and have executed an Ohio Voluntary Disclosure Agreement prior to any contact from the Ohio Department of Taxation.
  • VDA generally limits the look-back period to three years plus current year.
  • The non-filing taxpayer waives his right for refund for the look-back period and must pay tax due plus interest when filing tax reports.
  • Waiver of all penalties generally associated with the four years covered by the agreement and for all tax years prior to the years covered by the agreement. 

Our professionals can assist Ohio taxpayers in many ways during the amnesty period including, but not limited to, preparing the relevant amnesty applications, quantifying exposures, preparing tax returns, and in some cases even attempting to settle issues directly with the Department of Revenue. Likewise, our professionals can assist taxpayers with participation in a VDA program if deemed more beneficial.