Is Ohio Use Tax Amnesty just for companies?

Joe Popp | March 26th, 2012

Everyone’s heard of sales tax.  That extra 7-ish percent that you pay on all of your purchases that goes to the State of Ohio.  But many consumers haven’t heard of use tax.  An accompaniment to sales tax, use tax is a tax on the goods and services that you should have had to pay sales tax on, but didn’t.  Confused?

  • When you drive across the border to Pennsylvania to do your back to school shopping and think you’re getting a deal because you don’t have to pay sales tax… you owe Ohio use tax.
  • When you order a book from Amazon and love the fact that you don’t have to pay sales tax… you owe Ohio use tax.
  • When you pay someone cash to clean you house and she doesn’t charge you sales tax… you owe Ohio use tax.

Ohio’s recently been making a big push to get business to register for use tax accounts and pay any outstanding Ohio use tax liability.  The state has announced that it will continue this use tax enforcement push until all 300,000 of Ohio’s businesses that do not have use tax accounts have sorted out their use tax liabilities.  Are online purchases by consumers next?  Several states have tried to mandate informational reporting by online retailers where the retailer has to disclose which consumers in the state bought things online but did not pay sales tax.  Ohio has not done this…yet.

Sounds scary.  But, it’s not all bad news.  Ohio’s also offering a Use Tax Amnesty Program through April 2013 that will allow businesses and individuals who own up to their use tax liability to limit the state’s use tax look-back period to January 1, 2009 and obtain a complete waiver of penalties and interest.  It’s a no-harm, no-foul kind of program – all you have to do is pay back taxes for a couple years and everything else is forgiven.

Contact our Ohio Use Tax Experts

Have you been going a little crazy on the online shopping?  Are you worried that all those tax free purchases, which looked like such good deals at the time, might be coming back to bite you?  If you’re concerned about your Ohio use tax liability, you might want to considering filing for Ohio use tax amnesty while its still being offered and before Ohio decides to step up enforcement on consumers.  Our Ohio use tax professionals can determine if you or your business have use tax liability and can help you apply for amnesty.  Contact Rea & Associates to get started.

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