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14 min read

Ohio 2023 Sales Tax Guide

Ohio 2023 Sales Tax Guide

Ohio Sales Tax in a Word

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey in Ohio comes with a multitude of responsibilities, and understanding sales tax is undoubtedly one of the most crucial.

Fear not, intrepid business owner! We have crafted a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the twists and turns of Ohio sales tax.

From determining nexus and registration to collecting, filing, and paying sales taxes, we've got you covered. We'll even share five tips to help you avoid common mistakes when filing your returns.

Let's dive into the world of Ohio sales tax and make it as smooth as a freshly paved road for your growing business.




Ohio Sales Tax Contacts

Navigating the complexities of sales tax can feel like a daunting task, but knowing who to reach out to for assistance can make all the difference. In this section, we'll introduce you to the agency responsible for managing Ohio sales tax and provide you with their contact information, so you can always have a helping hand when you need it.


Who manages Ohio sales tax and what is their contact information?

The Ohio Department of Taxation is the governing body responsible for overseeing sales tax collection, reporting, and compliance in the state. They are your go-to resource for any questions, concerns, or information related to sales tax in Ohio.

Here's the contact information you'll need to stay connected with the Ohio Department of Taxation:

Mailing Address

Ohio Department of Taxation

Sales Tax Division

P.O. Box 530

Columbus, OH 43216-0530

Phone Numbers

General Sales Tax Information: (888) 405-4089

Taxpayer Assistance: (800) 282-1780


General Sales Tax Inquiries:


Ohio Department of Taxation


Remember, the Ohio Department of Taxation is there to help you with any questions you may have regarding sales tax, so don't hesitate to reach out for assistance.

As you forge ahead in the world of sales tax compliance, know that you're not alone - you have a wealth of resources and support at your fingertips to ensure the success of your business in the Buckeye State.


Do You Have Nexus in Ohio?

Sales tax nexus is a critical concept for any business operating in Ohio, as it determines whether you're required to collect and remit sales tax to the state. In this section, we'll explore the various types of nexus that can exist in Ohio and help you understand how these different nexus rules may apply to your business.


What Creates Sales Tax Nexus in Ohio?

Sales tax nexus is established when a business has a significant enough connection to a state, requiring them to collect and remit sales tax on transactions within that state. In Ohio, there are several ways that a nexus can be created, including physical nexus, economic nexus, affiliate nexus, click-through nexus, and marketplace nexus.


What creates physical nexus in the state of Ohio?

Physical nexus is established when a business has a tangible presence within the state.

This can include having:

  • A physical location, such as an office, store, or warehouse

  • Employees, agents, or representatives working in the state

  • Inventory or goods stored in a warehouse or fulfillment center within the state

  • Regular presence at trade shows or events in Ohio


What creates economic nexus in the state of Ohio?

Economic nexus is established when a business has a substantial amount of sales or transactions within the state, even if they don't have a physical presence. In Ohio, an out-of-state seller is considered to have economic nexus if they meet the following criteria:

  • Gross receipts from the sale of tangible personal property or services to customers in Ohio exceed $100,000, and

  • The seller has at least 200 separate transactions with Ohio customers during the current or previous calendar year


What creates affiliate nexus in the state of Ohio?

Affiliate nexus occurs when a business has a relationship with another entity in the state that helps to establish or maintain a market for the business's products or services.

This can include:

  • Parent companies, subsidiaries, or sister companies with a presence in Ohio

  • Affiliates who advertise, promote, or facilitate sales for the business in Ohio


What creates click-through nexus in the state of Ohio?

Click-through nexus is established when a business has a relationship with an in-state affiliate who directs customers to the business's website through a referral link, and the business meets a certain sales threshold.

In Ohio, click-through nexus is created if:

  • The out-of-state seller has a cumulative gross receipts of more than $10,000 from sales to Ohio customers referred by in-state affiliates during the preceding 12 months, and

  • The seller enters into an agreement with an Ohio resident to refer potential customers via a website link or other means


What creates marketplace nexus in the state of Ohio?

Marketplace nexus exists when an online marketplace facilitator, such as Amazon or Etsy, has a presence in Ohio and facilitates sales on behalf of third-party sellers. In this case, the marketplace facilitator is responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on behalf of the sellers.


Does Ohio have use tax laws?

Yes, Ohio has use tax laws in place, which work in conjunction with sales tax. Use tax is applied to purchases made by Ohio residents from out-of-state sellers when sales tax has not been collected. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to self-assess and remit use tax directly to the Ohio Department of Taxation. The use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate and varies depending on the purchaser's location within the state.



Ohio Sales Tax Registration

Before you can begin collecting and remitting sales tax in Ohio, you'll need to register your business with the Ohio Department of Taxation. In this section, we'll walk you through the steps for registering your business for sales tax in Ohio, discuss the associated costs, and address other important registration considerations, such as obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number and additional state agency registrations.


How to Register for Sales Tax in Ohio

Registering for a sales tax license in Ohio is a crucial step in ensuring your business is compliant with state tax laws.

Here's a detailed guide to help you through the registration process:

  1. Determine if you have a sales tax nexus in Ohio: Before registering, ensure that your business has a sales tax nexus in the state (refer to the previous section on nexus).

  2. Gather the necessary information: Before beginning the registration process, gather the following information:

    • Business name and contact information

    • Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (for sole proprietors)

    • Names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers of all business owners or officers

    • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for your business

    • Business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation)

  3. Register online: Visit the Ohio Business Gateway and create an account to access the online registration system. Once you have an account, log in and complete the "Sales and Use Tax" registration application. The online system will guide you through the process and allow you to submit your application electronically.

  4. Wait for approval: After submitting your application, the Ohio Department of Taxation will review it and, if approved, issue your sales tax license. This process can take up to 10 business days, so be sure to plan accordingly.

  5. Display your sales tax license: Once you receive your sales tax license, be sure to display it prominently at your place of business, as required by Ohio law.


How Much Does it Cost to Register for an Ohio Sales Tax License?

Good news! Registering for an Ohio sales tax license is free of charge. However, be aware that some businesses may be required to post a sales tax bond, depending on their sales volume and compliance history.


Do I Need a Federal Tax ID Number or EIN to Register for an Ohio Sales Tax License?

Yes, most businesses will need a Federal Tax ID Number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), to register for an Ohio sales tax license. Sole proprietors without employees may use their Social Security Number in lieu of an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website.


Which Agencies in Ohio Might I Need to Register With Additionally?

In addition to registering with the Ohio Department of Taxation for sales tax purposes, your business may need to register with other state agencies, depending on your business activities. Some common agency registrations include:

  • Ohio Secretary of State: If you operate a corporation, LLC, or partnership, you must register with the Ohio Secretary of State.

  • Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation: If you have employees, you are required to register with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for workers' compensation insurance.

  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Employers must also register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to report and pay unemployment insurance taxes.

Be sure to research and comply with all applicable agency registration requirements to ensure your business is fully compliant with Ohio regulations.


Collecting Sales Tax in Ohio

As a business owner, understanding how to properly collect and remit sales tax in Ohio is essential for maintaining compliance with state tax laws. In this section, we'll discuss whether Ohio is an origin or destination sales tax state, outline the types of sales subject to sales tax, address taxability of Software as a Service (SaaS), and cover sales tax exemptions and related procedures


Is Ohio an Origin or Destination Sales Tax State?

Ohio is a destination-based sales tax state. This means that the sales tax rate is determined by the location of the buyer, not the seller. When selling to customers in Ohio, you must charge the appropriate sales tax rate based on the buyer's location, which includes the state, county, and local sales tax rates combined.


What Sales are Subject to Sales Tax in Ohio?

In Ohio, sales tax applies to the retail sale of tangible personal property and certain taxable services. Examples of tangible personal property include clothing, furniture, electronics, and household items. Taxable services include, but are not limited to, landscaping, employment services, exterminating, and janitorial services.


Is Software as a Service (SaaS) taxed in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) defines "software as a service" (SaaS) as "a method of delivering software applications over the Internet, whereby the software is hosted by a third-party vendor and accessed by users via a web browser."

The ODT taxes SaaS as a service, not as a tangible product. This means that SaaS is subject to Ohio's 5.75% sales tax rate if it is used in business. However, SaaS is generally not taxable if it is intended for personal use.

There are a few reasons why Ohio taxes SaaS differently depending on whether it is used in business or for personal use. First, the ODT believes that businesses should bear the burden of sales tax on SaaS because they are the ones who benefit from the software's use in their operations. Second, the ODT does not want to discourage businesses from adopting SaaS by making it too expensive.

Finally, the ODT believes that personal use of SaaS is not a significant source of revenue for the state. In fact, the ODT estimates that only a small percentage of SaaS transactions are for personal use.


Sources (for the sales tax nerds):

What is Exempt from Ohio Sales Tax?

While many transactions are subject to sales tax in Ohio, certain items and services are exempt. Some common exemptions include:

  • Prescription drugs and medical equipment

  • Most groceries and food items intended for off-premises consumption

  • Newspapers and magazines

  • Sales to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government entities

  • Machinery and equipment used in manufacturing


Who is Eligible for Ohio Sales Tax Exemptions?

In Ohio, certain organizations and individuals may be eligible for sales tax exemptions, including:

  • Nonprofit organizations, such as churches, schools, and charities

  • Government entities, such as federal, state, and local governments

  • Manufacturers purchasing machinery and equipment for use in manufacturing processes

  • Resellers purchasing goods for resale


What Should I Do If My Customer is Exempt from Sales Tax in Ohio?

If you have a customer who is exempt from sales tax in Ohio, you must collect a properly completed Ohio Sales Tax Exemption Certificate from the customer. This certificate should include the customer's name, address, reason for exemption, and sales tax identification number (if applicable).

Keep the completed certificate on file as evidence of the exempt sale for at least four years from the date of the transaction. You are not required to remit sales tax on transactions where a valid exemption certificate is provided.


What Happens If I Lose an Ohio Sales Tax Exemption Certificate?

If you lose an Ohio Sales Tax Exemption Certificate, you should contact the customer who provided the certificate and request a new, completed copy. It is crucial to maintain accurate records of all exemption certificates to avoid potential issues with the Ohio Department of Taxation during an audit.



Filing and Paying Sales Taxes in Ohio

Once you've registered for sales tax, collected the appropriate taxes from your customers, and maintained adequate records, it's time to file and pay your sales taxes in Ohio. In this section, we'll explore the filing and payment process, address special circumstances like weekends and holidays, and discuss penalties and incentives related to sales tax in Ohio.


When to File and Pay Sales Tax in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Taxation requires businesses to file and pay sales tax on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis, depending on the amount of sales tax collected. 


The filing frequency and dues dates are as follows:

Monthly Filing

Businesses that collect a large amount of sales tax (typically over $1,200 per month) are required to file their sales tax returns on a monthly basis. 

Monthly returns are due by the 23rd day of the following month.

Quarterly Filing

Businesses that collect a moderate amount of sales tax (typically between $200 and $1,200 per month) are required to file their sales tax returns on a quarterly basis.

Quarterly returns are due on the following dates:

Q1 (January - March): due April 23rd

Q2 (April - June): due July 23rd

Q3 (July - September): due October 23rd

Q4 (October - December): due January 23rd

Semi-Annual Filing

Businesses that collect a small amount of sales tax (typically less than $200 per month) are required to file their sales tax returns on a semi-annual basis. 

Semi-annual returns are due by the following dates:

H1 (January - June): due July 23rd

H2 (July - December): due January 23rd


What if an Ohio Sales Tax Filing Date Falls on a Weekend or Holiday?

If an Ohio sales tax filing deadline falls on a weekend or a state-recognized holiday, the due date is extended to the next business day. Be sure to file and pay your sales tax by the adjusted due date to avoid any penalties or interest.


How Do I File an Ohio Sales Tax Return?

Filing your Ohio sales tax return may seem like a daunting task, but by following these steps, you can successfully complete the process:

  1. Gather necessary information: Before filing your sales tax return, gather all the required information, including your sales tax license number, sales data for the reporting period, and exemption certificates for any tax-exempt sales.

  2. Choose your filing method: Ohio offers two methods for filing your sales tax return: online or by mail. We recommend filing online through the Ohio Business Gateway, as it is faster, more secure, and provides instant confirmation of your submission. However, if you prefer to file by mail, you can obtain the necessary forms from the Ohio Department of Taxation's website.

  3. Complete your sales tax return: To file your return, you'll need to report various pieces of information, such as total sales, taxable sales, exempt sales, and the amount of sales tax collected. Be sure to include any local sales taxes you collected in addition to the state sales tax.

  4. Calculate and report any use tax: If you made any purchases for your business on which you did not pay sales tax (e.g., out-of-state purchases), you may need to report and pay use tax on those items.

  5. Submit your return and payment: Once you've completed your sales tax return, submit it along with your payment by the appropriate due date. If you're filing online, you can pay electronically via ACH debit or credit card (note that credit card payments may incur additional fees). If you're filing by mail, you can pay by check or money order.


What are the various penalties that can be assessed for sales tax filing in Ohio?

Failing to file or pay your sales tax on time can result in penalties and interest assessed by the Ohio Department of Taxation. Some common penalties include:

Late Filing Penalty

A minimum of $50 or 10% of the tax due, whichever is greater, for filing your return after the due date.

Late Payment Penalty

A minimum of $50 or 10% of the tax due, whichever is greater, for paying your sales tax after the due date.


Interest is assessed on any unpaid tax balance at a rate determined by the Ohio Department of Taxation.


To avoid these penalties, be sure to file and pay your sales tax on time and in full.


Does Ohio offer any sales tax incentives?

Ohio offers various sales tax incentives to promote economic development and job creation. Some incentives include:

  • Enterprise Zone Program: This program provides businesses with property tax abatements, investment tax credits, and sales tax exemptions for purchases of machinery, equipment, and building materials used in the construction or renovation of a qualified facility.

  • Job Creation Tax Credit: This credit offers businesses a refundable tax credit against their Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) liability based on the number of new jobs created.

These incentives can help businesses save on tax costs, making Ohio an attractive location for growth and expansion. To take advantage of these incentives, businesses must meet specific eligibility criteria and apply through the appropriate state agencies.


5 Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes When Filing Ohio Sales Tax Returns

Filing sales tax returns can be a complex process, and even seasoned business owners can make mistakes. To help you avoid common pitfalls when filing Ohio sales tax returns, we've compiled a list of five tips that can save you time, money, and headaches.

  1. Stay organized with accurate record-keeping: Maintaining detailed records of all your sales transactions, including exempt sales and exemption certificates, is crucial for accurately filing your sales tax return. Invest in a reliable accounting software or establish a well-organized record-keeping system to track all pertinent sales tax information. This will make the filing process smoother and help you avoid errors.

  2. Understand Ohio sales tax nexus rules: Ohio sales tax nexus is established when your business has a significant presence or connection to the state. This can include having a physical location, employees, or inventory stored in the state. Ensure that you understand Ohio's sales tax nexus rules and register for a sales tax permit if you meet the criteria. Failing to do so can lead to penalties and interest.

  3. Keep up-to-date with sales tax rates: Ohio sales tax rates can change due to updates in state, county, or local tax laws. Be sure to stay informed about any changes in sales tax rates that may affect your business, and adjust your sales tax collection accordingly. Using tax rate lookup tools or subscribing to tax rate update services can help ensure that you're always charging the correct rate.

  4. Review your sales tax return before submitting: Before you submit your Ohio sales tax return, take the time to review it carefully for accuracy. Double-check your sales figures, tax rates, and any calculations to ensure that you're reporting the correct information. Catching and correcting errors before submitting your return can save you from potential penalties and interest.

  5. Be aware of filing and payment deadlines: Missing filing and payment deadlines can result in costly penalties and interest. Mark your calendar with the appropriate due dates based on your filing frequency (monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually) and set reminders to ensure you're always on top of these deadlines. Consider filing and paying your sales tax early to avoid last-minute complications.

By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of errors and ensure a smoother, more accurate sales tax filing process. Remember, staying informed and vigilant about your sales tax obligations is crucial for maintaining compliance with Ohio tax laws and keeping your business in good standing.



As we reach the end of our journey through the Ohio sales tax labyrinth, it's crucial to remember that staying informed and proactive is the key to a successful business.

By understanding your nexus responsibilities, registering for sales tax permits, collecting the appropriate sales tax, and being diligent in filing and paying your taxes, you'll be well on your way to conquering the sales tax challenges that come your way. And with our five tips to avoid common mistakes, you'll be prepared to tackle any hurdles like a seasoned pro.

So, forge ahead with confidence, knowing that you're equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to make your Ohio business flourish in the ever-evolving world of sales tax. 




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Have sales tax in more than one state?

Check out All of our Sales Tax Guides

Alabama Sales Tax Guide

Hawaii Sales Tax Guide

Massachusetts Sales Tax Guide

New Mexico Sales Tax Guide

South Dakota Sales Tax Guide

Alaska Sales Tax Guide (N/A)

Idaho Sales Tax Guide

Michigan Sales Tax Guide

New York Sales Tax Guide

Tennessee Sales Tax Guide

Arizona Sales Tax Guide

Illinois Sales Tax Guide

Minnesota Sales Tax Guide

North Carolina Sales Tax Guide

Texas Sales Tax Guide

Arkansas Sales Tax Guide

Indiana Sales Tax Guide

Mississippi Sales Tax Guide

North Dakota Sales Tax Guide

Utah Sales Tax Guide

California Sales Tax Guide

Iowa Sales Tax Guide

Missouri Sales Tax Guide

Ohio Sales Tax Guide

Vermont Sales Tax Guide

Colorado Sales Tax Guide

Kansas Sales Tax Guide

Montana Sales Tax Guide (NA)

Oklahoma Sales Tax Guide

Virginia Sales Tax Guide

Connecticut Sales Tax Guide

Kentucky Sales Tax Guide

Nebraska Sales Tax Guide

Oregon Sales Tax Guide (N/A)

Washington Sales Tax Guide

Delaware Sales Tax Guide (N/A)

Louisiana Sales Tax Guide

Nevada Sales Tax Guide

Pennsylvania Sales Tax Guide

West Virginia Sales Tax Guide

Florida Sales Tax Guide

Maine Sales Tax Guide

New Hampshire Sales Tax Guide (NA)

Rhode Island Sales Tax Guide

Wisconsin Sales Tax Guide

Georgia Sales Tax Guide

Maryland Sales Tax Guide

New Jersey Sales Tax Guide

South Carolina Sales Tax Guide

Wyoming Sales Tax Guide


And don't forget to check out our blog about Economic Nexus, which serves as an invaluable resource for businesses who have sales that are subject to sales tax. 


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This blog is for informational purposes only and the information is accurate as of 2023-06-19. If you want legal advice on sales tax law for your business, please contact a State and Local Tax (SALT) professional. Keep in mind that sales tax regulations and laws are subject to change at any time. While we strive to keep our blog current, this blog possibly may be out of date by the time you review it.

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