Ohio Sales Tax Confusion

Question: I am an Ohio business owner concerned about sales tax requirements in the state. The exemptions are so confusing. Do I need to worry about this? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Tax Partner Steve Schult's answer: Yes – You should worry about this!  Ohio sales/use tax laws are extremely complicated.  In general, sales and use tax applies to the retail sale, lease and rental of personal property, unless there is a specific exemption (which there are many).  Most services are not subject to sales/use tax.  However there are specific services that are subject to tax. 

I recently heard that approximately 75% of Ohio tax court cases involve sales tax.  I would strongly advise you to meet with your CPA to review the application of these laws.  It is not unusual to see very large assessments on sales tax audits because the company didn’t understand their sales/use tax obligations.

Steve Schult joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD in 1998. He works with a variety of clients including those in manufacturing and healthcare. Learn more about Steve’s expertise.

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