State coming down on unpaid taxes

Bret Bevens

November 3, 2012

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

If you are an individual who owes back income taxes, or a business that owes back sales tax or Workers Compensation premium payments, you may want to contact the Ohio Department of Insurance right away. Ohio Lt. Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor released figures Thursday for an agent tax lien program that has collected more than $5.3 million in unpaid income tax, sales tax, and Workers Compensation premium payments. Taylor introduced the program in May of 2011 to recover funds that belong to the state and its citizens.

“Through the program we have tracked down more than $5 million on behalf of Ohio taxpayers,” Taylor said. “As we continue our efforts to locate all unpaid funds, I commend our partners, the Department of Taxation, and the Office of Attorney General Mike DeWine, for their support of this important initiative.”

To date, the tax lien program has either collected or set up payment plans with agents for amounts totaling $5,340,324. The program will continue as the Department of Insurance reviews renewal applications to make sure agents are in compliance. Taylor said if an agent has an outstanding judgment lien filed against them or their organization, administrative action may be taken against the agent’s license.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, penalties may include revoking, suspending, or refusing to issue an insurance license and civil penalties if an agent or agency fails to comply with any official invoice, notice, assessment, or order directing payment of federal, state, or local income tax, state or local sales tax or Workers Compensation premiums.

Taylor said, in order to avoid administrative action against their Ohio insurance licenses, agents who are not in compliance should contact DeWine’s Collections Enforcement Office at 614-752-8981 to make arrangements to satisfy outstanding obligations. She said agents may also contact the Ohio Department of Insurance Enforcement Division at 614-644-2560 for assistance.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com