Whether you’re planning to open a physical store or office in Ohio, or you’re opening up your online selling to Ohio customers, you need to know whether to collect and remit Ohio state sales tax and at what rate. One determining factor in this equation, of course, is whether or not what you’re selling is subject to sales tax. If it is, you’ll need to determine if you have a sales tax nexus in the state so that you can apply for the appropriate licenses to collect it.
The state sales tax rate in Ohio is 5.75%. In addition to this, counties and local transit authorities are permitted to levy their own taxes in increments of 0.25% up to a total of 3%. While this means that the applicable sales tax rate can vary considerably from one part of the state to another, it also means that the total sales tax will never exceed 8.75%.
The Ohio Department of Taxation provides several resources for helping to determine what rates are applicable in various parts of the state. For instance, you can use their website to look up rates for any Ohio address, or you can consult an updated list of rates for all jurisdictions in the state in alphabetical order.
Because Ohio is an origin-based state, the rate you’ll need to charge your customers will be the one at the site of your physical store or at the location you shipped from if you’re an Ohio-based business. If your business is based out-of-state but you still have a nexus in the state through some other means, the tax rate you should assess will be that at the destination address of the shipment. It’s also important to note that shipping and delivery charges on taxable purchases in Ohio are also taxable.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about Ohio state sales tax at all unless you have a significant presence, or nexus there. For the purposes of assessing sales tax responsibility, Ohio considers a seller to have a nexus if they:
As in many states, this combination of regulations comes to mean that if you store your goods in a warehouse in the state, you must collect and remit sales tax from your Ohio customers. For anyone using fulfillment through Amazon, this will apply in Ohio due to the presence of two fulfillment centers in the state.
Most sales of tangible personal property are subject to sales tax in Ohio, with some notable exceptions. These exceptions include:
Sales of tangible personal property are also not taxable if the consumer intends to utilize the goods purchased in the manufacture of tangible personal property for resale through some type of manufacturing or refining process.
Quite a few types of services are taxable in Ohio as well. These include:
The expansion of sales tax to include at least some services is an increasing trend across the states, and it’s likely to expand as the share of the economy that services make up continues to grow.
Before you collect sales tax from any customers in Ohio, you have to obtain a vendor’s license from the state. You can do this in a couple of different ways, and there are several types of licenses to choose from as well. If you will be operating a physical store or office, you can apply for a vendor license either through the Ohio Business Gateway or by contacting the local county auditor in your area directly. Each location you operate in Ohio must have its own license, and the licensing fee is $25.
Other types of licenses include:
It’s important that you obtain the correct type of license before you begin making sales, and the applications can be easily completed through the Ohio Department of Taxations website, although an offline application process still exists as well. Filing of sales tax returns must be done online, however, with payment options available in the form of ACH debit or credit card.
Returns must be filed and payments made by the 23rd of the month following that in which the tax was collected. Any taxpayer whose annual liability exceeds $75,000 must pay monthly. Direct pay permit holders can pay quarterly if they have less than $15,000 in tax liability per quarter on average. Vendors, sellers and transient vendors can pay semi-annually if their average six-month tax liability is less than $1,200.
|January – March (Q1)||April 23|
|April – June (Q2)||July 23|
|July – September (Q3)||October 23|
|October – December (Q4)||January 23|
Semi-annual payments are due on July 23rd for the period running from January through June, and on January 23rd for the period running from July to December of the previous year. Zero returns are required in Ohio, so if you hold a license from the state that permits you to collect sales tax, you must file a return even if you owe no tax for the period in question.
If you fail to file or pay your sales taxes on time, you will be assessed a penalty of $50 or 10% of the total tax due, whichever is more, up to 50% of total tax due on each delinquent return. A fee of $50 will also be assessed for every returned check, and interest may be added on to late tax payments as well.
Making sure you’ve appropriately collected sales tax on purchases made by your customers in Ohio, as well as remembering to file your return and make timely payments can add significantly to the complexity of running your business. That challenge is only multiplied when you sell in multiple states, each of which have their own sales tax rates and regulations. Fortunately, software exists to help you manage all of these variables, and TaxTools is just such a program.
With the features TaxTools provides, you can stay on top of any changes to local and state tax regulations, quickly pull up all tax collection and payment histories, complete with location information and rate charged. You can also integrate this software seamlessly with whatever eCommerce platform you currently use, making it only an asset when it comes to streamlining your business operations. If you’re interested in learning more about how TaxTools can help you stay on top of all state and local sales tax collection and filing, both in Ohio and elsewhere, click here to sign up for a free trial today.