The Use Tax Education Program

Posted on May 25, 2011

The Use Tax Education Program, or UTEP, kicked off in 2011 with a goal of contacting and working with an estimated 300,000 businesses in Ohio to help those businesses better understand use tax laws and how to stay in compliance with the law.

Use tax is a complementary tax to the sales tax. In general, use tax is owed by a purchaser on a transaction when the vendor does not collect sales tax (assuming the item being purchased is taxable). The use tax must be paid by the purchaser directly to the State of Ohio through a consumer’s use tax return.

For example, if an Ohio business buys a desk from an out-of-state supplier, who does not charge Ohio tax, then the Ohio business must pay use tax directly to the State of Ohio on the price of the desk.

Through UTEP, the department will be educating businesses as to what is subject to the use tax (see UTEP Tools and Upcoming UTEP Presentations below) and help them register to remit the use tax into the future.

For businesses who have an unreported use tax liability for past years, the department has a voluntary disclosure program that provides a means to remit that liability with a “limited look-back period” (usually 36 months) and no penalty. Interest is still applied. For more information on the voluntary disclosure program, please click on this link.

NOTE: If your business is contacted for a use tax audit, the department’s practice is to audit for the last 7 years and any tax liabilities are subject to a penalty of up to 15%.

I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for highly trained certified public accountants”
~ Elvis Presley