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Income - General Information
Income - General Information

In addition to the “Income” FAQs found on this page, the Department of Taxation offers many resources to answer your questions, such as:

  • Ohio’s Filing Season Central Webpage: Click here for resources and information about the current individual and school district income tax filing season.
  • Ohio Individual Income Tax Webpage: Click here for links to information about Ohio’s individual and school district income taxes.
  • Ohio Individual and School District Income Tax Returns: Click here for the current year’s individual return and here for the school district income tax return. Prior tax years’ personal income and school district income tax returns can be found Tax Forms here,
  • Instructions for Filing Original and Amended Individual and School District Income Taxes: Click here for the current year’s individual and school district income tax instructions. Prior tax years’ instructions can be found here.
  • Information releases: Click here for detailed explanations of selected laws, rules and rulings that govern Ohio’s individual and school district income taxes.
  • Ohio Virtual Tax Academy (OVTA): Click here for webinars designed and presented by Department staff containing information on Ohio’s state taxes. Click on the “Individual Income Tax” link.

If you cannot find the answer using these resources, you can email or call our Taxpayer Services Division toll free at 1-800-282-1780 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment) from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday excluding holidays.

***UPDATE for tax year 2019 Paper Filed Returns***
Given the recent impact of the Coronavirus to the State of Ohio, refunds for tax year 2019 paper return filers will be delayed by several months. To receive your refund more quickly, the Department of Taxation recommends you submit your return electronically using our free I-File, or file electronically using a tax preparation software product that is offered commercially or through a tax preparer. If you have additional questions, please
e-mail us.

The processing time of your refund will depend on your method of filing. If you file electronically and request direct deposit, your refund will generally be issued within 15 business days. If you file electronically and request a paper check, your refund will generally be sent to you within 22 business days. If you file a paper return, your refund will be sent by mail generally within 8 to 10 weeks (See UPDATE above for tax year 2019 paper filers).

Click here to check the status of your individual and/or school district income tax refund. If your return has completed processing, this page will provide you a time frame in which your refund will be issued to you.

If you requested a direct deposit and the time frame shown has passed, you should first check with your bank’s customer service department (ask to speak to the “ACH department”) to verify the deposit. You may also need to check with your tax preparer, if applicable, to verify the account information provided with your return.

Note: If you used a preparer or third-party software program to file your Ohio individual and/or school district income tax return, your Ohio refund may have been used to pay the preparation fees. Please verify with your tax preparer that your Ohio refund has not been applied to your preparation fees before contacting the Department of Taxation.

If you requested a paper check and the time frame shown has passed, you should first confirm that your refund check was actually lost or stolen.

If you are sure you did not receive your direct deposit or your refund check is lost, destroyed, stolen or not received, you should immediately contact the Department of Taxation by email or by calling 1-800-282-1780 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment).

 

Ohio IT 1040 Filing Requirement: Every Ohio resident and every part-year resident is subject to the Ohio income tax. Additionally, every nonresident having Ohio-sourced income is subject to the Ohio income tax, unless the nonresident’s only Ohio-source income is wages earned while living in Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan or Pennsylvania.

If you are subject to Ohio’s income tax, you must file an Ohio IT 1040, even if you are due a refund, unless:

  • Your Ohio adjusted gross income (Ohio IT 1040, line 3) is less than or equal to $0;
  • Your Ohio income tax base (Ohio IT 1040, line 5) is less than or equal to $0; OR
  • The total of your senior citizen credit, lump sum distribution credit and joint filing credit (Ohio Schedule of Credits, lines 4, 5 and 12) is equal to or exceeds line 8c of your Ohio IT 1040 and you are not liable for school district income tax.

However, even if you meet one of these exceptions, if you have a school district income tax liability (SD 100, line 2), you are required to file the Ohio IT 1040.

Note: If your federal adjusted gross income for 2019 is greater than $24,100, the Department recommends that you file an Ohio IT 1040 or IT 10, even if you do not owe any tax, to avoid delinquency billings.

Ohio SD 100 Filing Requirement: Only Ohio residents who lived within a taxing school district during any portion of the year are subject to Ohio's school district income tax. Not all school districts have an income tax.

If you are subject to a school district income tax, you must file an SD 100, even if you are due a refund, if all of the following are true:

  • You lived in a school district with an income tax for any portion of the tax year;
  • While living in the district, you earned/received income; AND
  • Based on that income, you have a school district income tax liability (SD 100, line 2).

If you have a tax liability for more than one school district during the year, you must file a separate SD 100 for each district. You may have a school district income tax liability even if you do not have an Ohio income tax liability. In that case, you must file a school district income tax return.

Note: If you lived in a taxing school district and received income, the Department recommends you file and SD 100, even if you don't have a tax liability, to avoid delinquency billings.

See R.C. 5747.08.

For tax year 2019: Due to COVID-19, the filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. The first and second quarterly payments, normally due April 15 and June 15 have also been extended to July 15, 2020.

You can extend the due date for filing your Ohio IT 1040 and SD 100 to October 15th, only if you qualify for an IRS extension of time to file. Ohio does not have an extension request form, but honors the IRS extension. You should check the box on your Ohio IT 1040 indicating you filed federal form 4868 with the IRS for this tax year and include a copy of your IRS extension when filing your return. This will also provide you an extension for filing the SD 100, if applicable.

An extension of time to file does not extend the time for payment of the tax due. You must make extension payments by the unextended due date (usually April 15th) on the Ohio IT 40P and/or SD 40P. See the FAQ “How do I pay my Ohio individual and/or school district income tax?” for more information.

See R.C. 5747.08(G) and Ohio Adm. Code 5703-7-05.

If you didn’t earn any income in Ohio during the tax year, you should file form IT 10 and check box #5 (“I am using an Ohio address for mailing purposes only”).

If you earned income in Ohio during the tax year, you must file an Ohio IT 1040 and check the box indicating you were a nonresident for the tax year.

The Department of Taxation recommends you file your return(s), even if you are unable to pay the tax due. Timely filing will allow you to avoid a late filing penalty.

The Department is not authorized to set up payment plans. However, you are encouraged to submit partial payments towards the tax due as soon as possible. See the FAQ “How do I pay my Ohio individual and/or school district income tax?” for more information.

See R.C. 5747.08.

A credit carryforward is only allowed on a timely filed, original individual income tax return (IT 1040) or school district income tax return (SD 100). If you file an original IT 1040 or SD 100 untimely, or you file an amended IT 1040 or SD 100, you are not permitted to apply the refund shown on the return to the next tax year. Instead, that amount will be refunded to you.

Ohio offers the following methods for paying your Ohio individual income and school district income tax:

  • Electronic Check: You can pay by electronic check using the Department of Taxation’s Online Services. This payment method withdraws funds directly from your checking or savings account. See the Online Services FAQs for more information. There is no fee for using this payment method.

    Generally, your payment will be withdrawn within 24 hours of the date you choose for the payment. You must ensure that the funds are in your account and available on the date you choose for payment. The payment will show on your bank statement as “STATE OF OHIO”.

 

  • Debit or Credit Card: You can pay using a debit or credit card either by calling 1-800-272-9829 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment) or using the Official Payments website. This payment method charges your Discover, VISA, MasterCard or American Express card. You cannot future-date a credit card payment. Your credit card will be charged on the date you authorize the payment.

    Official Payments charges a convenience fee equal to 2.5% of your payment or $1, whichever is greater. The state of Ohio does not receive any of this fee. The payment will appear on your credit card statement as two separate entries – one for the payment itself and a second for the Official Payments service fee.

 

  • Personal Check or Money Order: Make individual income tax payments payable to "Ohio Treasurer of State" and school district income tax payments payable to "School District Income Tax.” You must include the appropriate voucher when making a payment by check or money order. All payment vouchers can be found here.

Note: Your method of filing your return does not have to be the same as your method of payment. For example, you can file your return electronically, but submit your payment by personal check. Likewise, you can file your return by mail, but submit your payment using Online Services.

The address you should use for your Ohio individual income and/or school district income tax returns depends on if you are including a payment. See the following chart for the address you should use:

Remember, if you are including a payment with your return, enclose the appropriate voucher (Ohio IT 40P / IT 40XP or SD 40P / SD 40XP) with your check or money order.

The Department offers a Voluntary Disclosure Program which is designed for individual taxpayers who wish to resolve their previously unreported individual and/or school district income tax. Taxpayers who are eligible for the program are able to disclose unpaid tax liabilities and unfiled returns in exchange for receiving more favorable terms from the Department.

If you qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, you may submit a signed Voluntary Disclosure Agreement, along with all applicable returns and payments. Upon the Department’s acceptance of your submission, you will receive a letter acknowledging you qualify for the program and a copy of the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement signed by the Tax Commissioner.

See the Department’s individual and school district income tax Voluntary Disclosure webpage for more information.

No. Ohio’s income tax calculation begins with federal adjusted gross income. Federal itemized deductions are taken on federal Schedule A after the computation of federal adjusted gross income. Some common examples of federal itemized deductions include: gambling losses, real property taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and casualty and theft losses.

If Ohio law does not have a corresponding state tax deduction for a federal itemized deduction, the amounts are not deductible on your Ohio IT 1040. Ohio’s deductions in calculating Ohio adjusted gross income are listed on Ohio Schedule A.

Example: Traci loses $50,000 due to a Ponzi scheme. She is able to deduct the theft loss on her federal Schedule A. However, since the deduction is not included in her federal adjusted gross income, and Ohio does not provide a deduction for theft losses, Traci is not entitled to deduct the theft loss in computing her Ohio tax liability.

See R.C. 5747.01(A).

You can deduct survivor's benefits to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income. Generally, survivor’s benefits are any amount included in federal adjusted gross income and received because of the death of another individual. The decedent’s age, recipient’s age, relationship to the decedent, and prior tax treatment of the income on the decedent’s return are not relevant in determining if income qualifies as survivor’s benefits.

To determine if amounts are survivor's benefits, you should refer to the terms of the plan under which the benefits are paid. Any amounts payable without the death of a covered individual as a precondition are not survivor's benefits.

See R.C. 5747.01(A)(4) and Ohio Adm. Code 5703-7-08.

Ohio’s individual income tax is calculated on form IT 1040 and its supporting schedules. The steps to calculating your tax liability are as follows:

  • Begin with your federal adjusted gross income (Ohio IT 1040, line 1). This is typically calculated on your federal 1040.
  • Add and/or deduct the various items listed on Ohio Schedule A. This is your Ohio adjusted gross income (Ohio IT 1040, line 3).
  • Subtract your personal and dependent exemptions (if any). This is your Ohio income tax base (Ohio IT 1040, line 5).
  • Calculate your taxable business income (Ohio IT 1040, line 6) using Schedule IT BUS (if applicable).
  • Calculate your taxable nonbusiness income (Ohio IT 1040, line 7) by subtracting your taxable business income from your Ohio income tax base.
  • Calculate your nonbusiness income tax liability (Ohio IT 1040, line 8a) and your business income tax liability (Ohio IT 1040, line 8b). Add these amounts to calculate your income tax liability before credits (Ohio IT 1040, line 8c).
  • Deduct your nonrefundable credits, if any, using the Ohio Schedule of Credits. This is your tax liability (Ohio IT 1040, line 10).

You would then apply any withholding, payments, and/or refundable credits to determine your tax due or refund.

Note: Your federal adjusted gross income includes most sources of income that are taxable to Ohio. It is unnecessary to add or deduct any amounts on your Ohio return that are not listed on Ohio Schedule A.

To determine how to calculate your school district income tax, see the FAQ “How is the school district tax calculated?” found in the “Income – School District” category.

See R.C. 5747.01(A), 5747.02(A) and 5747.98.

Modified adjusted gross income is your Ohio adjusted gross income (Ohio IT 1040, line 3) plus your business income deduction (Ohio Schedule A, line 11). If you did not take a business income deduction, your modified adjusted gross income matches your Ohio adjusted gross income. You will need to know your modified adjusted gross income to determine your personal exemption amount and if you qualify for the following credits:

  • Retirement income credit;
  • Lump sum retirement credit;
  • Senior citizen credit;
  • Lump sum distribution credit;
  • Child care and dependent care credit;
  • Exemption credit; AND
  • Joint filing credit.

Additionally, if you live in an earned income tax base school district, your taxable income is limited to only income included in your modified adjusted gross income.

The Department of Taxation provides a worksheet to assist in the calculation of modified adjusted gross income that can be found in the "Worksheets" section of the IT 1040 and SD 100 instructions.

R.C. 5747.01(JJ).

You should always use your current address when filing an individual and/or school district income tax return, regardless of the tax year for which you are filing. This ensures that you will receive any communication from the Department of Taxation related to your filing.

When filing a return by paper, you must submit legible copies of all income statements (W-2s and 1099s) showing the Ohio and/or school district withholding that you claimed on the return. Income statements that are handwritten, self-created, or generated by your tax preparation software are not acceptable proof of your withholding.

If you file your return electronically, you are not required to send any income statements to the Department of Taxation upon filing. If the Department needs to verify the information on your income statements, you will receive a request by mail for documentation.

W-2s can only be issued to you by your employer. Generally, employers must mail W-2s to their employees by January 31st. If you haven't received your W-2 by February 15th, contact your employer to confirm that your W-2 was sent to your current address. If your employer is out of business or refuses to issue your W-2, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to report the employer.

You are required to file your Ohio individual income tax return whether or not you have received your W-2. If your employer does not provide you with a W-2, you should submit a copy of your year-end pay stubs when filing your Ohio return.

Note: Do not submit an IRS Wage and Income Statement transcript. It does not include Ohio withholding information.

Generally, if you have taken the proper steps to legally change your name, the Department is notified. However, you can provide legible documentation (such as your driver’s license, social security card, marriage license) showing your new name to the Department by either:

You should use your current legal name when filing your returns with the Department. The Department will contact you if additional documentation is needed to verify the change.

You can view transcripts of any Ohio income tax return, for the current and previous ten tax years. Simply log into Online Services and click the View Transcript button next to the return that you wish to view. For more information on the Department of Taxation's Online Services, see the “Income – Online Services (I-File/ePayment/eStatement)” FAQ category.

You may also contact the Department by email or by calling 1-800-282-1780 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment) to request a transcript.

Your request must include your SSN (and your spouse’s SSN if you filed a joint return), the tax year, and your current address. The transcript will be mailed within three business days of your request.

You must be able to support all items listed on your return. The Department of Taxation recommends you keep a copy of the following individual and school district income tax records:

  • Income tax returns and schedules;
  • Wage and income statements;
  • Supporting documentation; AND
  • Payment records.

You should keep these records for at least 4 years from the later of the filing due date or the date you filed the return. In some instances, you may want to retain certain tax records for longer than 4 years.

See R.C. 5747.17.

Generally, communications with the Department are done via telephone or through our email system. The Department operates a Taxpayer Self-Service Visitor Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). The visitor center is located at:

4485 Northland Ridge Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43229-6596

The visitor center provides tax forms and instructions, payment vouchers, a drop box for submission of tax documents, access to a tax examiner via telephone, and a computer with limited access to Ohio tax websites.

Note: All self-service visitors must present a photo ID such as a current driver's license, state ID, military ID or passport.

No. The Department cannot recommend a tax preparer. Additionally, while the Department can answer certain questions related to the individual and school district income taxes, it is unable to prepare your return or provide you with tax planning advice.

Note: Certain taxpayers may be eligible for free tax preparation services available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

While most professional tax preparers are knowledgeable and honest, some are unethical. If you decide to hire a tax preparer, the Department recommends you review the FAQ “What are some warning signs that my tax preparer is unethical?” found in the “Income – Identity Theft” category.

If you are unsure if communication from the Department is legitimate, you can find examples of our notices here. Additionally, you can contact the Department by email or by calling 1-800-282-1780 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment) to confirm a notice was sent.

While the Department does send Tax Alerts and other information by email, the Department will never solicit personal information using email. All emails sent from the Department will use an address ending in “tax.state.oh.us”.

If you determine that a notice is not from the Department, DO NOT respond to it. Instead, please report the illegitimate notice here. In the “Please Describe the Essentials of the Suspected Non-Compliance/Fraud” area of this form, enter “Suspect Notice.”

Your email address assists the Department in combating income tax fraud. The Department may also use the email address to communicate relevant information and reminders (such as a failure to file or pay a bill) to taxpayers.

No personal identifiable information will ever be requested in an e-mail from the Department. The Department will NOT sell or otherwise distribute the email address you provide.

The Department requires every taxpayer included on an electronically filed return (including those using a tax preparer) to provide information from their current driver’s license or state ID. This information is used to combat tax fraud. Taxpayers who do not have a current driver's license or state ID card are still able to file electronically. Those taxpayers must indicate they do not have a driver’s license or state ID.

There are certain requirements for electronically filed returns. When a return is rejected, you are generally provided with an error code and a reason for the rejection. For a complete list of error codes and their related reasons, see 2019 MeF Error Codes.

You must correct all errors before the return can be electronically filed with the Department.

In order for the Department of Taxation to reissue a refund check to include the name of an executor or representative, you must provide all of the following:

  • The original refund check;
  • A copy of the taxpayer’s death certificate; AND
  • Federal form 1310.

Please mail this documentation to:

Ohio Department of Taxation
Attn: Revenue Accounting
P.O. Box 2476
Columbus, Ohio 43216-2476

Note: Instead of adding the executor or representative’s name to the refund check, the Department can reissue the refund check with the word “deceased” next to the decedent’s name. In this case, you are not required to submit federal form 1310.

Additional Resources

Additional Resources