by J.D. Davidson
Ohio businesses that benefitted from federal and state help during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are a step closer to not being forced to pay taxes on that aid.
The Ohio Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 18, which complies Ohio tax law with the federal code, streamlines the state’s tax filing process and makes sure money received during the pandemic will not be taxed.
“I am delighted that SB 18 passed the Senate unanimously [Wednesday],” said state Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) the bill’s co-sponsor. “This bill will help to streamline the filing process for Ohio taxpayers and ensure that they have the ability to receive all the benefits allowed by the IRS.”
State lawmakers around the country continue to debate whether to tax federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, which were forgiven by the IRS. Federally, those loans are not taxed as income, and businesses can deduct payroll and other expenses paid with the loans.
States such as New Jersey and Iowa plan on exempting PPP loans from state taxes, while others such as Virginia continue to debate limits on spending deductions. Other states have yet to make decisions.
Ohio’s bill incorporates into Ohio law changes to the federal tax law that have taken effect since March 27. Co-sponsor Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) said those changes directly affect tax bases for Ohio workers and businesses.
“I am proud to work with Sen. Roegner, my Senate colleagues and the Ohio Department of Taxation to ensure Ohio’s already challenging tax system is not bogged down by additional complexities,” Schaffer said. “By making these necessary changes, we are simplifying the process for Ohioans to receive all the benefits they are allowed by the IRS.”
The bill, which received support from the National Federation of Independent Business along with the Ohio Department of Taxation, moves to the House for consideration.
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J.D. Davidson is a regular contributor to The Center Square. An Ohio native, Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.
Photo “State Senator Kristina Roegner” by Ohio State Senate.