By Greg Saul, Esq., CAE, OSCPA tax director
On June 30, the Ohio House by a bipartisan vote of 67-30 and the Ohio Senate on a party-line vote of 25-6 adopted their agreed-upon conference committee changes to House Bill 33, Ohio’s biennial budget legislation for fiscal years 2024-2025. Gov. DeWine then signed H.B. 33 into law early in the morning on the 4th of July after issuing 44 line-item vetoes.
To address Ohio’s broader workforce challenges, significant funding was included to support workforce education and training, affordable housing to address shortages, income-based childcare support, greater broadband support, economic development resources to create shovel-ready sites, and more.
Numerous tax changes outlined below of note to Ohio CPAs have now been enacted, including:
Personal Income Tax (TAXCD68): Phases in a two-year income tax reduction taking Ohio from four brackets to just two – the marginal rates will be 2.75% for incomes over $26,050 and 3.5% for incomes over $100,000. Ohioans making $26,050 or less would pay no income taxes.
Commercial Activity Tax (TAXCD81): Exempts from CAT all taxable gross receipts of $3 million or less (for tax periods beginning in 2024), and then exempts taxable gross receipts of $6 million or less (for tax periods beginning in 2025). Amounts above that will remain at the existing 0.26% rate. This is the first major change to the CAT since its 2005 inception.
The new exemption applies to all businesses and is a substantial increase to the current exemption for taxable gross receipts ($150,000 or less), which has remained unchanged for the past 18 years. After the two-year phase-in, nearly 90% of all Ohio-based businesses will no longer pay CAT (roughly 145,000 of the current 163,000 CAT payers). Businesses with taxable gross receipts exceeding the exemption amount will pay the current CAT rate of 0.26% only on the excess.
Included in the vetoes (see Item Number 39) was one impacting the CAT as the Governor struck the inflationary adjustment to those thresholds and he also vetoed the provision enabling businesses with over $150,000 but less than $6 million in annual gross receipts to avoid filing annual zero-dollar returns. This means that while a wide majority of taxpayers will not owe CAT, those taxpayers having more than $150K of gross receipts must still file quarterly tax returns.
OSCPA is awaiting guidance from the Ohio Department of Taxation to see if they offer any administrative relief from that requirement. OSCPA also will be discussing this zero-dollar filing requirement with legislators who voted to adopt the provision to further explore filing relief for taxpayers who will not owe any tax.
Other OSCPA tax policy priorities that were passed in the final bill include:
Resident Tax Credit for SALT Cap Deduction from Other States (TAXCD92): Permits Ohioans who are currently subject to double taxation to get back to a status quo position. Senate Bill 246 (134th GA) authorized pass-through entity (PTE) owners to “elect” to file a new form IT 4738 and be subject to a new entity-level tax in response to the federal $10,000 SALT deduction cap limit placed on individuals, but Ohio was one of the only states that authorized a PTE tax (see the map of states), but did not allow a credit for taxes paid to another state. This change authorizes an Ohioan to use our resident credit (in existence since at least 1991) for PTE taxes paid to other states while requiring an add-back of taxes deducted from that individual’s federal adjusted gross income. These provisions are effective for taxable years ending on or after Jan. 1, 2023, but taxpayers are allowed to apply, at their option, the provisions to taxable years ending on or after Jan. 1, 2022, with an amended or original return.
Municipal Notices and Late Filing Fees (TAXCD61 and 62): Limits late fees and penalties that may be imposed on a taxpayer for failing to timely file municipal income tax returns by (1) limiting the late filing penalty to $25 vs. the current $150 cap; (2) requiring any late filing penalty assessed on a taxpayer’s first late filing to be refunded or abated once the taxpayer files the overdue return; and (3) extending the due date for filing municipal net profits tax returns from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. These new laws apply to taxable years ending on or after January 1, 2023.
Minors Exempt from Owing Municipal Income Tax (TAXCD58): Exempts the income from individuals under the age of 18 from Ohio municipal income tax, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2024.
Municipal Net Profits Tax Safe Harbor (TAXCD84): Effective for tax years ending after 2023, allows businesses with remote/hybrid employees or owners to elect to use a modified apportionment formula to limit compliance costs when an employee or owner works at a remote work location. The business may elect to apportion any property, payroll, or sales (gross receipts) attributable to that employee or owner to a designated location owned or controlled either by the business or one of its customers. This optional change allows situsing the municipal net profits tax to the remote/hybrid worker’s reporting location at the employer’s place of business. This only applies to the net profits tax and does not impact the withholding tax.
More details on these tax provisions can be found here – references above to TAXCD## are to the comparison document.