Ohio now accepting tax returns

The Ohio Department of Taxation began accepting 2018 state income tax returns on Monday. More than 5.5 million Ohio taxpayers will file a return by the end of the filing season on Monday, April 15.

Taxpayers will see some changes from last year, including:

– An inflation adjusted increase in the maximum deduction for contributions to a Medical Savings Account (MSA). The new maximum is now $4,753, up 1.66 percent from last year.

– Increases to the tax-free contributions to an Ohio 529 plan or to a STABLE account to a maximum of $4,000 per beneficiary.

– An inflation adjustment to the personal exemption and the tax brackets.

– A new deduction for income earned by out-of-state business owners and nonresident employees who conduct disaster work in Ohio during a disaster response period.

– Tax booklet instructions that are shorter and simpler to read and understand.

Ohio continues to be vigilant in the fight against tax fraud. As a result, some taxpayers will be directed to take an identification quiz to protect against fraudulent tax returns filed using stolen personal information. Since 2014, the Department has blocked the attempted theft of more than $600 million by criminals using stolen personal IDs to file fraudulent returns.

Ohio taxpayers are encouraged to file online. More than 88 percent of Ohioans file electronically and those who do, and are entitled to a refund, will typically see that refund in 15 business days or less if they request direct deposit to a checking, savings or investment account. Those who file a paper return and are entitled to a refund will typically receive a refund check in 8-10 weeks.

If you need assistance, tax agents are available toll-free at 1-800-282-1780 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Forms and all the filing information you need is available on the Taxation website: www.tax.ohio.gov.