Ohio businesses can opt in by March 1 for centralized filing of business tax returns

(COLUMBUS, OH) - A new, optional municipal tax filing and collections system that allows businesses to centrally file and pay municipal net profit taxes through the Ohio Business Gateway is now accepting registrations. As businesses prepare for tax season, they should register to opt-in by March 1 to centrally file in 2018. The election is binding for one tax year.

The centralized filing option is great news for Ohio businesses that file quarterly and annual returns in multiple cities or villages. Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa estimates the filing option will save businesses a combined $800 million annually in compliance costs if all Ohio businesses participate.

“Centralized collection, signed into law last June, is one of the best advantages Ohio taxpayers have for reducing administrative headaches this tax season,” said Barbara Benton, Vice President, Government Relations for The Ohio Society of CPAs.

“Ohio business owners have complained for years about the high cost of complying with our complicated municipal tax system. This is a welcome change that will help them meet filing requirements efficiently and reinvest savings to grow their businesses.”

A group of Ohio cities and villages filed two separate lawsuits in late 2017 that seek to kill recent municipal tax law reforms but The Ohio Society of CPAs is confident the laws are constitutional as enacted, and the state of Ohio will prevail in moving ahead with centralized filing which will dramatically improve tax filing administration for thousands of Ohio businesses.

On Dec. 21, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas issued an agreed order giving cities additional time to reconcile their ordinances with the law, but said “all other provisions of House Bill 49, other than the Ordinance Reconciliation provisions, shall remain in full force and effect until or unless further order of this Court.”

Business taxpayers should register on ODT’s website to opt in for centralized filing. A business must register on or before the first day of the third month of a taxpayer’s fiscal year (March 1 for calendar year filers), and also notify each municipal corporation in which the taxpayer conducted business during the previous taxable year by sending Form MNP MN to each municipality. 

Contrary to assertions, the new municipal tax laws will not reduce the amount of taxes businesses owe. They simply make it easier and less costly for taxpayers to comply with filing in potentially hundreds of Ohio cities and villages.

Participating businesses will file and make one payment of net profit taxes centrally through the Ohio Business Gateway. The Ohio Department of Taxation will then remit payments to the various jurisdictions where tax is due and handle all related administrative tasks, such as refunds and audits.