Jill Hall - Brown County Auditor

   
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Ohio Taxpayers' Bill of Rights

In 1989, the Ohio General Assembly enacted the Ohio Taxpayers' Bill of Rights which is intended to clarify citizens' rights and obligations as taxpayers in the State of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Taxation strives to serve the taxpayers of the State of Ohio, who are both our employers and our clients, in a fair, timely and responsive manner and to administer Ohio's tax laws as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Although the Bill of Rights specifically addresses several of Ohio's taxes -- Income, Sales, Use, Corporate Franchise and Tangible Personal Property -- we at the Department of Taxation will strive to preserve the spirit of The Ohio Taxpayers' Bill of Rights in all of our work with Ohio's taxpayers. This page gives you information about the law as it applies to the Tangible Personal Property Tax.

TAX RETURNS

The tangible personal property tax is a self-reporting tax. Yearly returns filed by businesses are considered preliminary assessments. For businesses located in only one county, the tax returns are filed with the county auditor. Businesses with locations in more than on county file directly with the Tax Commissioner. An explanation of how this tax is assessed and collected in contained in the Personal Property Tax booklet that each taxpayer receives form the Department of Taxation or county auditor. A formal bill for any taxes due that were not required to be paid with the required will be mailed to you by your county treasurer.

AUDITS

In order to make certain that the correct amount of taxable value has been reported, we may need additional information from you. Sometimes this is a simple matter and you need only supply information that we request. If the issue becomes too complex for correspondence and or telephone calls, we will arrange with you to examine the basis of your reported taxable values with one of our tax agents. This examination, or audit, may take place at your office, your representative's office or one of our district offices.

Our role during an audit is to review and examine your books, resources, etc. to determine if you have complied with the tax laws.

Your role during an audit is to cooperate with our tax agents and make your records available to them.

You have the right to know when the audit begins.

You have the right to have any audit conducted during your regular business hours after we have provided reasonable notice. These rights may not apply if you are being investigated for suspected criminal activity.

You have the right to be assisted or represented by an attorney, accountant, bookkeeper or other tax practitioner. We may require you to inform us in writing if this is your intent. For your convenience, there is a form available for this purpose. You can obtain the form by contacting any office of the Ohio Department of Taxation or your county auditor.

You have the right to answer or refuse any questions during the course of the audit until you have the opportunity to consult with your tax adviser. However, our agents can continue to inspect your records during this time.

You have the right to record the audit session.

You may have legal remedies available to you if you feel that during an audit the State of Ohio's tax agent(s) assigned to your case acted outside the scope of the law.

After the audit you can expect that we will:

determine that the values reported on the original return are satisfactory; or determine that you have over-reported values; or determine that you have under-reported values and issue an amended or final assessment for under-reported values plus penalties. The tax bill, including any interest, will be mailed to you by your county treasurer.

If you believe that you have overpaid a tax, you have a right to request a final assessment which may result in a refund. After an audit of your application for final assessment, a final assessment, or final determination will be issued by the Tax Commissioner.

ASSESSMENTS

Amended and final assessments are official legal notices from the state of county of taxable tangible personal property values; i.e., increases or decreases from the values reported, or assessment of property not previously assessed, plus penalties and interest. Assessments are delivered by mail or personally by agents of the Tax Commissioner. At the time the amended or final assessment is delivered, or before that time, the Department of County Auditor must provide to the taxpayer a written description of why the assessment was issued and any penalties that will be imposed with the assessment.

If you disagree with an amended assessment, you have 30 days from the date it is mailed to file a petition with the Tax Commissioner. After an administrative review of your petition, a final determination will be issued by the Tax Commissioner. Complete instructions for filing a petition may be found on the reverse side of the assessment certificate.

You have the right to appeal a final determination or final assessment of the Tax Commissioner to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA). The BTA is like a court and will review the facts and interpret the law. It is independent of the Tax Commissioner and may modify or reverse decisions of the commissioner. Unlike reviews before the Tax Commissioner, proceedings before the BTA are very formal and the Board's procedures must be followed. With any final determination or final assessment from the Tax Commissioner, you will receive complete instructions for filing an appeal.

Payment need not be made until your petition or appeal is finalized.

PROBLEM RESOLUTION OFFICER

A Problem Resolution Officer is available to taxpayers to serve as a liaison between the Department of Taxation and taxpayers when the normal lines of communication break down. To receive information regarding this service, write to:

Ohio Department of Taxation
Problem Resolution Officer
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, OH 43266-0030

NOTE

Any failure of the Department of Taxation or a county auditor and the auditor's employees to comply with a provision of the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights does not excuse any taxpayer from payment of taxes that are owed.