130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 396)



AN ACT
To amend sections 131.02 and 5747.451, to enact section 5703.06, and to repeal sections 5727.59 and 5733.25 of the Revised Code relative to the attorney general's authority to compromise claims for taxes and other amounts due the state.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 131.02 and 5747.451 be amended and section 5703.06 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 131.02. (A) Whenever any amount is payable to the state, the officer, employee, or agent responsible for administering the law under which the amount is payable shall immediately proceed to collect the amount or cause the amount to be collected and shall pay the amount into the state treasury in the manner set forth pursuant to section 113.08 of the Revised Code. If the amount is not paid within forty-five days after payment is due, the officer, employee, or agent shall certify the amount due to the attorney general, in the form and manner prescribed by the attorney general, and notify the director of budget and management thereof.

(B)(1) The attorney general shall give immediate notice by mail or otherwise to the party indebted of the nature and amount of the indebtedness. If

(2) If the amount payable to this state arises from a tax levied under Chapter 5733., 5739., 5741., or 5747. of the Revised Code, the notice also shall specify all of the following:

(A)(a) The assessment or case number;

(B)(b) The tax pursuant to which the assessment is made;

(C)(c) The reason for the liability, including, if applicable, that a penalty or interest is due;

(D)(d) An explanation of how and when interest will be added to the amount assessed;

(E)(e) That the attorney general and tax commissioner, acting together, have the authority, but are not required, to extend compromise the claim and accept payment over a reasonable time of the payment for up to one year, if such actions are in the best interest of the state.

(C) The attorney general shall collect the claim or secure a judgment and issue an execution for its collection.

(D) Each claim shall bear interest, from the day on which the claim became due, at the base rate per annum for advances and discounts to member banks in effect at the federal reserve bank in the second federal reserve district. The attorney general and the chief officer of the agency reporting the claim may adjust any claim in such manner as is equitable. They may extend the time of the payment of a claim or judgment for such period of time not to exceed one year as is best for the interests of the state, and they may require and take security for its payment.

(E) The attorney general and the chief officer of the agency reporting a claim, acting together, may do either or both of the following if such action is in the best interests of the state:

(1) Compromise the claim;

(2) Extend for a reasonable period the time for payment of the claim by agreeing to accept monthly or other periodic payments. The agreement may require security for payment of the claim.

Sec. 5703.06. (A) As used in this section, "claim" means a claim for an amount payable to this state that arises under a statute administered by the tax commissioner and that has been certified to the attorney general for collection under section 131.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) The tax commissioner and the attorney general shall consider the following standards when ascertaining with respect to a claim whether a compromise or payment-over-time agreement is in the best interests of the state under division (E) of section 131.02 of the Revised Code:

(1) There exists a doubt as to whether the claim can be collected.

(2) There exists a substantial probability that, upon payment of the claim and submission of a timely application for refund with respect to that payment, the commissioner would refund an amount that was illegally or erroneously paid.

(3) There exists an economic hardship such that a compromise or agreement would facilitate effective tax administration.

(4) Any other standard to which the commissioner and attorney general jointly agree.

(C) The rejection of a compromise or payment-over-time agreement proposed by a taxpayer with respect to a claim shall not be appealable.

(D) A compromise or payment-over-time agreement with respect to a claim shall be binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of only the parties to the compromise or agreement, and shall not extinguish or otherwise affect the liability of any other person or governmental entity.

(E) A compromise or payment-over-time agreement with respect to a claim shall be void if the taxpayer defaults under the compromise or agreement or if the compromise or agreement was obtained by fraud or by misrepresentation of a material fact. Any amount that was due prior to the compromise or agreement and is unpaid shall remain due, and any interest that would have accrued in the absence of the compromise or agreement shall continue to accrue and be due.

Sec. 5747.451.  (A) The mere retirement from business or voluntary dissolution of a domestic or foreign qualifying entity does not exempt it from the requirements to make reports as required under sections 5747.42 to 5747.44 or to pay the taxes imposed under section 5733.41 or 5747.41 of the Revised Code. If any qualifying entity subject to the taxes imposed under section 5733.41 or 5747.41 of the Revised Code sells its business or stock of merchandise or quits its business, the taxes required to be paid prior to that time, together with any interest or penalty thereon, become due and payable immediately, and the qualifying entity shall make a final return within fifteen days after the date of selling or quitting business. The successor of the qualifying entity shall withhold a sufficient amount of the purchase money to cover the amount of such taxes, interest, and penalties due and unpaid until the qualifying entity produces a receipt from the tax commissioner showing that the taxes, interest, and penalties have been paid, or a certificate indicating that no taxes are due. If the purchaser of the business or stock of goods fails to withhold purchase money, the purchaser is personally liable for the payment of the taxes, interest, and penalties accrued and unpaid during the operation of the business by the qualifying entity. If the amount of those taxes, interest, and penalty unpaid at the time of the purchase exceeds the total purchase money, the tax commissioner may adjust the qualifying entity's liability for those taxes, interest, and penalty, or adjust the responsibility of the purchaser to pay that liability, in a manner calculated to maximize the collection of those liabilities.

(B) Annually, on the last day of each qualifying taxable year of a qualifying entity, the taxes imposed under section 5733.41 or 5747.41 of the Revised Code, together with any penalties subsequently accruing thereon, become a lien on all property in this state of the qualifying entity, whether such property is employed by the qualifying entity in the prosecution of its business or is in the hands of an assignee, trustee, or receiver for the benefit of the qualifying entity's creditors and investors. The lien shall continue until those taxes, together with any penalties subsequently accruing, are paid.

Upon failure of such a qualifying entity to pay those taxes on the day fixed for payment, the treasurer of state shall thereupon notify the tax commissioner, and the commissioner may file in the office of the county recorder in each county in this state in which the qualifying entity owns or has a beneficial interest in real estate, notice of the lien containing a brief description of such real estate. No fee shall be charged for such a filing. The lien is not valid as against any mortgagee, purchaser, or judgment creditor whose rights have attached prior to the time the notice is so filed in the county in which the real estate which is the subject of such mortgage, purchase, or judgment lien is located. The notice shall be recorded in a book kept by the recorder, called the qualifying entity tax lien record, and indexed under the name of the qualifying entity charged with the tax. When the tax, together with any penalties subsequently accruing thereon, have been paid, the tax commissioner shall furnish to the qualifying entity an acknowledgment of such payment that the qualifying entity may record with the recorder of each county in which notice of such lien has been filed, for which recording the recorder shall charge and receive a fee of two dollars.

(C) In addition to all other remedies for the collection of any taxes or penalties due under law, whenever any taxes, interest, or penalties due from any qualifying entity under section 5733.41 of the Revised Code or this chapter have remained unpaid for a period of ninety days, or whenever any qualifying entity has failed for a period of ninety days to make any report or return required by law, or to pay any penalty for failure to make or file such report or return, the attorney general, upon the request of the tax commissioner, shall file a petition in the court of common pleas in the county of the state in which such qualifying entity has its principal place of business for a judgment for the amount of the taxes, interest, or penalties appearing to be due, the enforcement of any lien in favor of the state, and an injunction to restrain such qualifying entity and its officers, directors, and managing agents from the transaction of any business within this state, other than such acts as are incidental to liquidation or winding up, until the payment of such taxes, interest, and penalties, and the costs of the proceeding fixed by the court, or the making and filing of such report or return.

The petition shall be in the name of the state. Any of the qualifying entities having its principal places of business in the county may be joined in one suit. On the motion of the attorney general, the court of common pleas shall enter an order requiring all defendants to answer by a day certain, and may appoint a special master commissioner to take testimony, with such other power and authority as the court confers, and permitting process to be served by registered mail and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county, which publication need not be made more than once, setting forth the name of each delinquent qualifying entity, the matter in which the qualifying entity is delinquent, the names of its officers, directors, and managing agents, if set forth in the petition, and the amount of any taxes, fees, or penalties claimed to be owing by the qualifying entity.

All or any of the trustees or other fiduciaries, officers, directors, investors, beneficiaries, or managing agents of any qualifying entity may be joined as defendants with the qualifying entity.

If it appears to the court upon hearing that any qualifying entity that is a party to the proceeding is indebted to the state for taxes imposed under section 5733.41 or 5747.41 of the Revised Code, or interest or penalties thereon, judgment shall be entered therefor with interest; and if it appears that any qualifying entity has failed to make or file any report or return, a mandatory injunction may be issued against the qualifying entity, its trustees or other fiduciaries, officers, directors, and managing agents, enjoining them from the transaction of any business within this state, other than acts incidental to liquidation or winding up, until the making and filing of all proper reports or returns and until the payment in full of all taxes, interest, and penalties.

If the trustees or other fiduciaries, officers, directors, investors, beneficiaries, or managing agents of a qualifying entity are not made parties in the first instance, and a judgment or an injunction is rendered or issued against the qualifying entity, those officers, directors, investors, or managing agents may be made parties to such proceedings upon the motion of the attorney general, and, upon notice to them of the form and terms of such injunction, they shall be bound thereby as fully as if they had been made parties in the first instance.

In any action authorized by this division, a statement of the tax commissioner, or the secretary of state, when duly certified, shall be prima-facie evidence of the amount of taxes, interest, or penalties due from any qualifying entity, or of the failure of any qualifying entity to file with the commissioner or the secretary of state any report required by law, and any such certificate of the commissioner or the secretary of state may be required in evidence in any such proceeding.

On the application of any defendant and for good cause shown, the court may order a separate hearing of the issues as to any defendant.

The costs of the proceeding shall be apportioned among the parties as the court deems proper.

The court in such proceeding may make, enter, and enforce such other judgments and orders and grant such other relief as is necessary or incidental to the enforcement of the claims and lien of the state.

In the performance of the duties enjoined upon the attorney general by this division, the attorney general may direct any prosecuting attorney to bring an action, as authorized by this division, in the name of the state with respect to any delinquent qualifying entities within the prosecuting attorney's county, and like proceedings and orders shall be had as if such action were instituted by the attorney general.

(D) If any qualifying entity fails to make and file the reports or returns required under this chapter, or to pay the penalties provided by law for failure to make and file such reports or returns for a period of ninety days after the time prescribed by this chapter, the attorney general, on the request of the tax commissioner, shall commence an action in quo warranto in the court of appeals of the county in which that qualifying entity has its principal place of business to forfeit and annul its privileges and franchises. If the court is satisfied that any such qualifying entity is in default, it shall render judgment ousting such qualifying entity from the exercise of its privileges and franchises within this state, and shall otherwise proceed as provided in sections 2733.02 to 2733.39 of the Revised Code.

(E) With the advice and consent of the tax commissioner, the attorney general may, before or after any action for the recovery of taxes imposed under section 5733.41 or 5747.41 of the Revised Code, or interest or penalties thereon and certified to the attorney general as delinquent, compromise or settle any claim for delinquent taxes, interest, or penalties so certified.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 131.02 and 5747.451 and sections 5727.59 and 5733.25 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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