Filing Your 2021 Ohio State Tax Return

Filing Your 2021 Ohio State Tax Return
••• Viktorcvetkovic

If you're an Ohio resident or otherwise have worked for an Ohio employer, there's a good chance that you'll need to file an Ohio tax return this tax year. To avoid penalties, you'll want to look at some important FAQs so that you know where and how to file your taxes as well as being aware of the due dates. For your convenience, the state offers paper and electronic filing options along with several ways to make a tax payment and check your refund status.

The state of Ohio uses varying income tax rates for non-business income for 2021:

  • 0 percent​ for earnings up to $25,000
  • 2.765 percent​ for earnings of $25,001 to $44,250 (plus a $346.16 base tax)
  • 3.226 percent​ for earnings of $44,250 to $88,480 (plus a $878.42 base tax)
  • 3.688 percent​ for earnings of $88,450 to $110,650 (plus $2,304.31 base tax)
  • 3.99 percent​: for earnings over $110,650 (plus $3,123,05 base tax)

Who Must File Ohio Income Taxes?

The Ohio Department of Taxation generally requires that anyone who owes taxes on Ohio income files a tax return this tax year. This includes both part- and full-time Ohio residents along with nonresidents. Ohio income goes beyond wages earned from employment to include gambling winnings, self-employment/business income and gains from properties in the state.

However, nonresidents living in the reciprocal states of Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan or Pennsylvania do not have to file if they only earned wages in Ohio. You also won't have to file an Ohio income tax return if you end up not liable for taxes due to having an adjusted gross income of ​$0​ or less, receiving certain tax credits or having enough exemptions.

Even if you fall under one of these exceptions, however, you'll still need to file an Ohio tax return if you have to file a school district income tax return.

What Are the Forms to Use?

Depending on your tax situation, you might need to fill one of a few different Ohio individual income tax return forms.

If you don't owe any taxes and won't get a refund, you can use the simplified Ohio IT 10 tax form. Otherwise, you'll use the most popular Ohio IT 1040 form for the Ohio return and SD 100 form (available as a bundle) for your school district tax return. Your Ohio IT 1040 form will include supporting documents such as Schedule A for income adjustments, Schedule J for dependents and the Schedule of Credits.

You can download fillable PDF versions of these tax forms from the state tax department, or you can fill them out online through the online filing service.

What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?

Since the state follows the same IRS federal income tax deadline, the 2021 Ohio individual income tax return filing deadline is ​April 18, 2022​. If you need an extension, you can simply file your federal return and have your Ohio deadline extended automatically by ​six months​. You don't have to fill out any specific state document for this to happen, but the extension doesn't change your income tax payment due date.

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?

When a taxpayer doesn't file an Ohio state tax return on time, the state sends a failure to file letter with advice to file promptly to avoid penalties. If you still don't file, each month you will incur a late filing penalty of either ​$50​ or ​5 percent​ of the unpaid tax, whichever is greater. This late filing penalty continues to accrue up to the lesser of ​$500​ or half the unpaid tax amount.

Plus, you'll pay a ​6 percent​ interest rate on the unpaid taxes. This is double the usual ​3 percent​ interest rate when you're not a late filer.

The state doesn't have any kind of payment plan available to help avoid the penalties if you can't afford the taxes. However, making even a partial payment of your unpaid taxes can help minimize the total penalties you'll pay.

Where Do I Mail/E-file My Ohio Return?

It's most common to e-file your state income tax return when you file your federal return, and you do this with the tax preparation software you already use.

However, Ohio has its own free online filing system called I-File that you can use once you sign up for an account to access online services. The I-File tool will walk you through the answers to tax questions, provide you with a refund or tax liability amount, allow you to pay taxes or arrange a refund and submit your state and school district tax returns.

If you decide to mail your Ohio tax return, you'll likely use one of a few Ohio Department of Taxation addresses, depending on which tax form you're using and whether you're including a payment with it.

  • You are including a payment with your IT 1040 return​: Mail it to PO Box 2057, Columbus, OH 43270-2057.
  • You're not including a payment with your IT 1040 return​: Send it to PO Box 2679, Columbus, OH 43270-2679.
  • You're mailing an SD 100 return with a payment​: Send it to PO Box 182389, Columbus, OH 43218-2389.
  • You're not including a payment with your SD 100 return​: Mail it to PO Box 182197, Columbus, OH 43218-2197.

How Do I Pay Taxes Due?

You can conveniently make an Ohio income tax payment through the Ohio Department of Taxation website. There you'll find e-payment options either as a guest or as an online services member. By taking the extra steps to get an online services account, you also get the benefit of being able to easily file your taxes online, pay your tax liability right away and get tax transcripts.

You can either use an electronic check and not incur a fee or use a debit or credit card and pay up to a ​2.5 percent​ convenience fee. The electronic payments apply to your account within ​three business days​.

You also have phone and mail options. You can use a debit or credit card over the phone by calling the ACI Payments service at ​1-800-2PAYTAX​ and specifying ​6446​ as the Ohio code for your tax payment. You can also write a check for the tax amount and mail it with your Ohio income tax return.

Where Can I Check My Ohio Refund Status?

You can visit the Ohio Department of Taxation's tax refund status page to easily monitor your Ohio tax refund online. You just have to provide your Social Security number, tax return type and birthdate to use this tool. Another option is to call ​1-800-282-1784​ to access an automated phone system where you'll verify your identity and hear your refund status.

Usually, your refund comes within ​15 business days​ if you request a direct deposit and e-file the Ohio state tax return. Otherwise, it can take as long as a few months if you mail your Ohio return and request a paper check.

What About Ohio Taxes if You're Self-employed?

Self-employed individuals such as sole proprietors and others with pass-through income can simply use the IT 1040 tax form with an additional tax schedule called IT BUS. The state offers a business income deduction to such taxpayers that can help reduce the tax liability, which is typically ​3 percent​ on business income. Self-employed Ohio taxpayers need to pay quarterly estimated taxes and file their tax returns on time.

What About Ohio Taxes if You're a Business?

Ohio taxes businesses at a flat rate of ​3 percent​ and uses various tax forms, depending on the business structure. In addition, Ohio businesses need to pay quarterly estimated taxes to avoid potential penalties. You can visit the business section of the Ohio Department of Taxation website for more information about online tax filing and payment options for businesses.

Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes with the Ohio Department of Taxation before you file.