Ohio State Income Tax Overview

Residents of Ohio are required to file a state income tax return with the Ohio Department of Taxation in addition to filing a federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This article is focused on key questions related to filing a state income tax return in Ohio.

Do I need to file a state income tax return?

An individual is required to file a state income tax return in Ohio if they are a resident for the entire year, a resident for a portion of the year, or a non-resident who earns income from a source in Ohio.

Resident for the Entire Year

Individuals who live in Ohio for the entire year generally must file a state income tax return in Ohio.  Filing a state income tax return for Ohio may not be required if one or more of the following exceptions exist:

  • You are single, your adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes is less than or equal to $11,650, and you have no Schedule A adjustments
  • You are married, you are filing jointly, your adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes is less than or equal to $13,300, and you have no Schedule A adjustments
  • Your only source of income is retirement income eligible for Ohio’s retirement income credit and your credit is the same or larger than your tax before credits
  • The sum of your personal and dependent exemptions is equal to or more than your adjusted gross income for Ohio

If you were out of the state temporarily, such as being on an extended work trip where your primary residence was still in Ohio, then you are still considered a resident for the entire year.

Resident for a Portion of the Year

An individual who is a resident of Ohio for only a portion of the year must file a state income tax return on any Ohio-based income.  Ohio-based income can include but may not be limited to the following:

  • Wages
  • Ohio lottery winnings
  • Income or gain generated by property in Ohio
  • Income or gain generated by a business in Ohio

Non-Resident

An individual who is a non-resident must file a state income tax return in Ohio if they have income from a source in Ohio.

An individual who lives in a state bordering Ohio for the entire year does not have to file a state income tax return in Ohio if the individual’s only source of income from Ohio is wages paid by an Ohio-based employer who is not a relative.

When do I have to file my state income tax?

For the 2011 tax year, individuals must file state income tax returns for Ohio by April 17, 2012.  A six-month extension is available if the individual qualifies for an extension on their federal income tax return.  However, if you owe money on your state income tax, you must still pay that money no later than April 17, 2012, to avoid penalties and interest.

What is the tax rate for state income tax?

Rather than using a flat tax rate as some states do, Ohio uses a calculation that charges a higher tax rate as your income increases.  For the 2011 tax year, Ohio uses the following tax rates:

Ohio Taxable Income Tax Calculation
0 – $5,100 0.587%
$5,100 – $10,200 $29.94 + 1.174% of excess over $5,100
$10,200 – $15,350 $89.81 + 2.348% of excess over $10,200
$15,350 – $20,450 $210.73 + 2.935% of excess over $15,350
$20,450 – $40,850 $360.42 + 3.521% of excess over $20,450
$40,850 – $81,650 $1,078.70 + 4.109% of excess over $40,850
$81,650 – $102,100 $2,755.17 + 4.695% of excess over $81,650
$102,100 – $204,200 $3,715.30 + 5.451% of excess over $102,100
More than $204,200 $9,280.77 + 5.925% of excess over $204,200

Should I get help from a tax attorney?

The information above is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice.  If you have questions about your state income tax return or the filing process, it is generally a good idea to hire a tax attorney who can evaluate your individual situation against the tax laws of Ohio to determine the appropriate tax approach and ensure your state income tax return is filed appropriately.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.