Ohio State Tax Blog

Current developments, commentary and helpful resources regarding Ohio state and multistate taxes from attorneys Steven A. Dimengo and Richard Fry. We concentrate on all aspects of Ohio state taxation, including sales/use tax, income tax and commercial activity tax, from audits to appeals before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court, and have significant experience in multistate tax planning. Contact us.

Ohio State Tax Blog :: Sales and Use Tax, Ohio CAT, Multistate Tax, Ohio Tax Attorney
ABA Blawg 100 Nominations! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 19:40

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Blawg 100 to identify the best 100 legal blogs, or “Blawgs”. We at the Ohio State Tax Blog are asking for help from our loyal readers to be recognized amongst the leading Blawgs. You can nominate the Ohio State Tax Blog by using the ABA’s Blawg 100 Amici Form, available here. Filling out the form should only take a couple of minutes, as your comments are limited to 500 characters. Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due before Friday, September 7th.

ABA editors make the final decisions as to who is included in the Blawg 100, but we are confident they will be impressed with what our readers have to say. Thank you!

Steve and Rich

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 19:36
Municipal Income Tax - SERP Constitutes Exempt Pension Income PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 March 2013 15:53

Municipalities are given the power to tax by the Ohio Constitution – commonly referred to as the Home Rule. This power can be, and has been, limited by the Ohio General Assembly under Chapter 718 of the Ohio Revised Code. Additionally, municipalities often limit the income subject to taxation by its own ordinances, with a common exclusion for pensions. Ohio municipalities have put increasing emphasis on taxing employment benefits supposedly earned while working in or a resident of the city, even if the taxpayer receives the income years after last working in the city or when he/she is no longer a resident. See e.g., Boyer v. St. Bernard Municipal Bd. Of Appeal (June 23, 2009), B.T.A. No. 2007-K-139; and Wardrop v. Middletown Income Tax Review Bd. (Oct. 13, 2008), 2008-Ohio-5298 (Ohio App. 12 Dist.).

In a pro-taxpayer decision, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals recently ruled that a taxpayer’s receipt of benefits under a supplement executive retirement plan (SERP) after retirement, when no longer a resident, were not taxable. In this case, the taxpayer argued the SERP constituted a non-taxable pension under the Shaker Heights Codified Ordinances. Even though the SERP was not expressly referred to as a pension, the BTA found that the SERP met the common meaning thereof – generally speaking, “any plan sponsored by an employer that provides for post-retirement income that’s designed to supplement their income for life” according to expert William Dunn. Accordingly, the income at issue was excluded from taxation under Shaker Heights’ own ordinance.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 15:54
Ohio Commercial Activity Tax Sourcing Rules Provide Planning Opportunities PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 17:14

Generally, taxable receipts for the Ohio commercial activity tax are sourced to where tangible personal property is “ultimately received” or the benefit of services are received. R.C. 5751.033. However, evidenced by guidance published by the Ohio Tax Commissioner, these locations are not always clearly discernable. O.A.C. § 5703-29-17 (sourcing services). Information Release 2005-17 (revised April 2006). For example, it is particularly difficult to determine the proper source of receipts from services provided to businesses with locations in multiple states which benefit from the service. The Ohio Tax Commissioner’s guidance allows taxpayers to elect between sourcing receipts from certain services to the recipient’s principle place of business or apportioning the receipts based upon the recipient’s business locations. Businesses with Ohio commercial activity tax obligations may benefit from a review of the commercial activity tax sourcing provisions and careful planning to take advantage of many recognized alternative sourcing rules. 

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Accepts Taxpayer's Retroactive Valuation of Personal Property PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 March 2013 14:53

Upon remand from the Ohio Supreme Court, the Board of Tax Appeals recently ruled in favor of a taxpayer’s valuation of its personal property using a different method than the statutorily prescribed “302 Computation.” The taxpayer presented a retrospective appraisal report prepared after the relative tax valuation dates. The BTA accepted the taxpayer’s valuation as probative evidence of the property value as of the relative tax lien dates, overruling the Tax Commissioner’s objections. Although the personal property tax has been repealed, this case provides helpful support for real estate valuations.

Steve represented the taxpayer, WCI Steel, Inc., in this case.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 14:54
Ohio Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Taxpayer that Tax Commissioner Retained Jurisdiction Over Administrative Appeal PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 19:42

The Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the taxpayer in Crown Communications, Inc. v. Testa, 2013-Ohio-3126, who we represented. The Tax Commissioner failed to provide proper instructions to the taxpayer as to how to appeal a final assessment. Rather than appealing to the Board of Tax Appeals, which is the normal appeal procedure for a final assessment, the taxpayer followed the Tax Commissioner’s instructions relating to a preliminary assessment and filed a petition for reassessment with the Tax Commissioner. Holding that the taxpayer had the option to treat the assessment as preliminary (and appeal to the Tax Commissioner) or final (and appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals), the Court agreed with the taxpayer that the Tax Commissioner retained jurisdiction over the taxpayer’s administrative appeal due to the Tax Commissioner’s statutory duty to provide correct instructions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 19:45
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Ohio State Tax Attorney, Steven A. Dimengo

Steve Dimengo is recognized as one of the leading tax attorneys in Ohio, where he has been serving clients for over twenty-five years. Full Profile. Cases. Email.


Ohio State Tax Attorney, Richard B. Fry III

Richard Fry is an Associate focusing on business law, specifically taxation. He holds a J.D. and Masters of Taxation from the University of Akron. Full Profile. Email.


Steve will be speaking at the Lorman Sales and Use Tax in Ohio Seminar to be held in Akron on January 21, 2014.  He will be discussing Manufacturing Exemptions, Transfer of Business and Personal Liability for Sales tax.  Click here to see more (and register).



Steven Dimengo has been named the Best Lawyers' 2012 Akron Tax Law Lawyer of the Year