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Podcast: March 1 deadline almost here for centralized filing

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Less confusion, less hassle and less frustration. That’s the difference opting in to centralized collection could make for you and your business this year.

“It’s basically playing by one set of rules,” said Sarah O’Leary, tax program executive with the Ohio Department of Taxation. “What we’ve heard folks are finding when they file with different municipalities is an interpretation in one municipality is not always the same as the law would be interpreted by another jurisdiction. When you opt in with the tax department you’re playing with one set of rules, and those rules apply for every municipality in which you do business. It’s probably the largest benefit from a business perspective.”

On the latest episode of The State of Business, O’Leary and Jennifer McFarland, tax program administrator with ODT, dig into the benefits of opting in and what registration looks like for practitioners.

“We’ve heard from businesses across the state that it’s become very cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to have to comply with the municipal administered tax system as it exists,” McFarland said. “We have folks filing tax returns in multiple jurisdictions, making multiple payments and following those through with seeking refund claims. And if they have to appeal any issue they have to go to each of the municipalities separately.”

They said the hassle of filing with multiple jurisdictions could be avoided by opting in to centralized filing. Taxpayers would make one tax return and one payment to one single location. The department of taxation would then split the payment to all the municipality recipients.

And once you opt in with ODT, you only deal with it going forward.

O’Leary said businesses should register by March 1 by going to Select the “municipal net profit tax” option and that will take you to a menu where you complete your registration information. Perhaps the easiest way for CPAs to register multiple clients is the option -- which was offered last year -- to download this spreadsheet.

“A lot of preparers were interested in modernized electronic filing which is known as e-file or MeF,” McFarland said. “We do have that for the 2018 tax year and for estimated payments for 2019.”

The department is working on the approval of numerous vendors right now but currently certified is Thompson Reuters Ultra Tax and Drake Tax. Four others have signed letters of intent with the department:

  • CCH ProSystem fx
  • Corptax
  • Tax Series (Tax Technologies, Inc.)
  • GoSystem/OneSource (Thomson Reuters)

Listen to the entire episode available now or wherever you get your podcasts.