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Ohio tax structure changes suggested by CPA organization

Simpler is often better, and an organization of Ohio CPAs believes that changes could be made to the Ohio tax structure that would make it simpler and that this would improve Ohio's business competitiveness.

The Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) are likely well-positioned to offer advice on elements of the state's tax system, as many members work with tax issues businesses encounter every day. The Chair of the group's Tax Reform Task Force noted that not only are their members familiar with Ohio's tax laws but those of other states, so they have direct experience with the strong and weak points of all of these laws.

Even though they are accountants, they note there are many things that go into making Ohio competitive for business in addition to tax law. Among the recommendations they made for changes to the tax structure:

  • Reducing the number of tax brackets from nine to only three or four.
  • Simplifying the municipal tax laws by centralizing the collection of municipal taxes with something like the Ohio Business Gateway. The complexity of numerous municipalities taxing businesses, residents and workers is confusing and inefficient.
  • For the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT), they recommend keeping it low and limiting exemptions.
  • Sales and use taxes exemptions should be limited. They, unsurprisingly, believe there should not be a tax on professional services.

Other recommendations included taxing casinos and racinos as a new source of revenue, and looking at taxing some aspects of healthcare facilities, given the 52 percent of the state's budget spent on Medicaid costs.

They point out that in addition to competitiveness and simplicity, any changes to the tax code should be made with the stability of the system and funding for important government activities in mind while preserving neutrality, equity and fairness.

Source: crescent-news.com, "Ohio CPA group recommends changes to tax structure," June 30, 2016

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