The Ohio Use Tax Education Program (UTEP) kicked off in 2011 with the goal of contacting and working with an estimated 380,000 small and mid-sized businesses in Ohio with potential use tax liabilities. The Ohio Department of Taxation's aim is to help those businesses better understand use tax laws and how to stay in compliance with the law.
The program includes financial incentives meant to encourage businesses with use tax liability to pay what's owed. The incentive includes a "limited look-back period and no penalty.” Initially, businesses that should be registered for use tax but are not will be notified by UTEP that they should register. These businesses will be able to register and begin remitting use tax on future purchases.
UTEP also will allow a business to enter into an agreement to clear up past unpaid use tax liability. In general terms, through UTEP a business will agree to:
Under the agreement, the Ohio Department of Taxation, in the absence of fraud, agrees to waive use tax liability for all years beyond the look-back period; and agrees not to apply the 15 percent penalty applicable for the unpaid use tax.
The following fact sheets have been developed to further explain the Use Tax Education Program and the use tax generally: