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Warning: Tolling Provisions in HB 197 about to End

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As reported in a previous Buzz (Ohio Enacts Tax Related COVID-19 Legislation, April 6, 2020), HB 197 contained an uncodified provision that tolled statutes of limitation and other administrative time limitations under the Revised Code that are set to expire between March 9, 2020, and July 30, 2020.[1] As we arrive at July 30, 2020, businesses and individuals whose due dates for certain filings covered by the tolling provisions need to review those filings and determine the new due date under the tolling provision. Essentially, for a filing that was due between March 9, 2020, and July 30, 2020, the time for filing is frozen as of March 9, 2020 and restarts on July 31, 2020. For example, if the time for filing was initially March 29, 2020, the due date under the tolling provisions would be extended for twenty days after July 30, 2020 because the time between March 9, 2020, and July 30, 2020 was suspended or “frozen.”

The tolling provisions apply to petitions for reassessment, notices of appeal to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (“BTA”), and notices of appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court that had a due date within the tolling period. While not as clear, the tolling provisions likely apply to the time for filing valuation complaints with the county boards of revision.

Refund Claims: The tolling provisions also impact sales tax refund claims relating to sales tax paid on purchases in February, March, April, May and June of 2016. For example, refund claims for sales tax paid on purchases in February 2016, will need to be filed by August 13, 2020 to be filed timely. Use tax refund claims are also impacted by the tolling and have a similar extension of time, but the filing deadline will be based on when the tax was paid in March 2016.

Be Extra Careful: HB 197’s tolling provisions do not apply to any limitation period that was set to expire after July 30, 2020, which could be a surprise to taxpayers. For example, an assessment issued on June 1, 2020 will not benefit from the tolling provisions and a petition for reassessment will be due July 31, 2020. This may also impact certain administrative due dates and filing dates for BTA or Supreme Court notices of appeals. Deadlines imposed by the Ohio Department of Taxation were not affected by the tolling provisions because of a line item veto by the Governor.

If you would like to discuss how the tolling provisions might impact your situation or the availability of refund claims, please contact a ZHF professional.


[1] Tolling means that a statutory period for performing an act, i.e., a statute of limitations, is suspended or stops running during the tolling period. Generally, the statute of limitations is extended for the period of the tolling.

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