Senate OKs Bill For Tax Officials To Refund Overpayments
Article from The Youngstown Vindicator
February 13, 2014
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The Ohio Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would require state tax officials to refund overpayments made by businesses.

Senate Bill 263 passed on a unanimous vote of 32-0 and heads to the Ohio House for further consideration.

“By doing this, we’re telling Ohioans that the state is taking corrective action to be fair and honest,” said Sen. Bill Beagle of Tipp City, R-5th, a primary sponsor of the proposed law changes.

The state for years refrained from contacting businesses about tax overpayments and did not issue refunds in such cases unless they were requested.

After several years, the accumulated overpayments were transferred to the state’s general revenue fund to pay for other expenses.

The situation came to light two years ago, when Gov. John Kasich and the state’s tax director announced that about 3,500 businesses would receive $13 million-plus in refunds due to overpayments.

Late last year, the state inspector general’s office identified other overpayments as part of a review prompted by a separate investigation of employee theft.

The tax department has since been contacting businesses to inform them of overpayments, but lawmakers want to change state law to ensure that future overpayments are refunded quickly.

SB 263 and comparable legislation introduced in the Ohio House would require the state tax commissioner to notify businesses of overpayments and automatically issue refund checks or tax credits whether businesses formally request them or not.

“Not only will it return funds to Ohioans, it will create the most taxpayer-friendly refund law in the Midwest,” Beagle said, adding later, “This money doesn’t belong in the state treasury. It belongs in the state economy.”

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