Ohio – Lack of Sales Did Not Excuse Failure to File

2/06/2013

SALT Report 2119 – The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals upheld an assessment against a Taxpayer for failing to file Ohio sales tax returns. In this case, the Taxpayer did not file sales tax returns for a three month period in 2011 and was issued an assessment by the Commissioner. The Taxpayer appealed the assessment claiming that it was not required to file a return because it “does not sell directly to the consumer” and therefore, was not required to charge or pay sales tax.

R.C. 5739.30 requires every vendor doing business in Ohio to file a sales tax return either monthly or semi-annually, even if it has no taxable sales. In the event a vendor fails to collect or remit sales tax, the Tax Commissioner is authorized to make an assessment against the vendor.  It then becomes the burden of the Taxpayer to prove that the Tax Commissioner made its determination in error.

Upon review of the case, the Court ruled that because vendors have a duty to file a sales tax return and the Taxpayer failed to do so, the Tax Commissioner was reasonable in its findings and the assessment was upheld. Further, the Court determined that there was no evidence to support the claim that the nature of the Taxpayer’s business exempted it from sales tax collection responsibilities.

For Further Information

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals – Case Number 2012-A-1029