By Marc Kovac
Businesses that haven’t paid taxes on certain purchases have about a month to make good without penalty.
The state’s latest tax- amnesty period ends May 1 and covers use taxes, the out-of-state equivalent to sales taxes.
Businesses are obliged to pay the use tax on taxable goods and services purchased from suppliers outside of Ohio’s borders.
Gary Gudmundson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation, said use taxes have been in place in the state since the mid-1930s and were instituted to prevent people from crossing the state border for purchases to avoid sales tax.
Businesses and con- sumers are required to report taxable purchases to the state and submit payments.
The state taxation department late last year launched an amnesty period to allow businesses to pay owed use taxes that have been incurred since January 2009 without penalty or interest.
To date, more than 2,000 businesses have submitted nearly $20 million in back taxes, Gudmundson said.
“It can be complicated keeping track of what’s taxable and what’s not,” Joe Testa, taxation department director, said in a statement.
“The amnesty has definitely helped businesses better understand the tax and pay off a lot of outstanding use-tax debt,” he said.
Businesses wanting to take advantage of the amnesty period must register with the state, and payment plans are available.
Additional information is available online at www.tax.ohio.gov.