Ohio – Taxability of Food and Soft Drinks

SALT Report 1965 – The Ohio Department of Taxation issued an information release regarding the taxability of food sold for consumption on premises and for all sales of soft drinks.  Generally, all food sold for consumption on the premises is taxable and the sale of soft drinks is always taxable, no matter where they are consumed.

The Department provides the following guidance to help determine what “on premises” means.   For instance, if a business operates in a food court setting, the common seating area is considered “on premises” and tax applies.  If the business is a food truck and a seating area is provided for customers, this is considered “on premises” and tax applies. If a business owns or leases the building and surrounding real estate, the parking lot is considered part of the “premises” and tax applies.

The Department warns that if you fail to collect sales tax from your customers or fail to remit sales tax to the State of Ohio, your business is liable for the sales tax deficiency.  Further, owners, officers and other responsible parties of the business will be held personally liable for the failure to collect and remit sales tax.  Therefore, the Department recommends that businesses ask their customers if their food purchase is “for here” or “to go” to help determine the proper taxability.

For Further Information:

Ohio Department of Taxation – Sales Tax Information Release ST 2012-01