State offers tax penalty forgiveness program

Residents and businesses that owe penalties on their taxes can get amnesty through a state program.

The Ohio Department of Taxation announced it will be offering a tax amnesty program from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15.

The department stated the program is for eligible taxpayers — individuals and businesses — with unreported or under-reported tax debts.

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During the six-week amnesty period, taxpayers who fully pay qualifying tax delinquencies will owe no penalties and half of the interest normally charged.

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“The Ohio Tax Amnesty is a tremendous opportunity for eligible taxpayers to address an unreported tax debt and eliminate the financial risk of not complying with the obligation to file and pay taxes,” said Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa. “If we all comply with the tax laws, as most Ohio taxpayers do already, we can lower the tax rates for all taxpayers.”

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The Ohio Tax Amnesty includes the following taxes: individual income tax; school district income tax; employer withholding tax; employer withholding for school district income tax; pass-through entity tax; sales tax; use tax; commercial activity tax; financial institutions tax; cigarette and other tobacco products taxes; and alcoholic beverage taxes.

Tax amnesty will only be available to individuals and businesses with a tax liability that is unknown to ODT, and only for taxes that were due and payable prior to May 1, 2017.

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