Well, the nation’s largest tax conference reared its informative head again at the end of January. It was time to talk about tax reform, the new Ohio tax administration, Wayfair and, of course, the taxability of Cincinnati Reds’ bobbleheads (again). I am one of those people who loves to learn, see old friends and meet new people so this is an enjoyable event for me.
The conference starts each day with presentations in a ballroom with roughly 535 extremely cool bean counters. The first morning started with national issues in taxation and then some general updates from the past year on various Ohio taxes. Eyeglasses and contact lenses will no longer be subject to Ohio sales tax as of July 1, 2019. The revised Ohio “bright line” residency tests for income tax purposes were presented. There weren’t any direct CAT updates but there were indirect CAT updates; some decisions of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals may now be appealed directly to the Ohio Supreme Court. The direct appeal is now permitted if the decision involves a final determination of the Tax Commissioner. Most of this material might not be considered enthralling but I wanted to hear all of the details. Apparently two tax whisperers at the table next to me didn’t need to hear the details. You know about the tax whisperers, right? Tax whisperers are the people that know everything so they get to whisper during the presentations. They usually whisper during the entire presentation. I’m not sure how many other people mind but a really smart tax whisperer can be distracting. However, my glass is generally half full, so I try to think about these tax whisperers in a positive fashion. I get to work on my multi-tasking skills when they are around... focusing on the presentation while simultaneously focusing on not giving tax whisperers my stink-eye!
That afternoon and the next day I attended some enlightening break-out sessions on credits and incentives. One session dove into the new language regarding home-based employees in Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit agreements. Another session dove into Ohio’s focus on innovation and workforce training. A very interesting question was posed regarding how we will bridge the gap between Ohio’s old focus on job growth and new focus on technology and innovation. STEM training for people at all educational levels seemed to be one of the most popular solutions.
Although my daily focus is in the non-income tax arena, I attended an interesting session on state and local tax issues arising from federal tax reform when my remote seller/sales tax breakout was cancelled. Also, one of my favorite sessions was a roundtable on the ramifications of Wayfair beyond sales and use taxes. The presenters were well-versed and immensely passionate as they spoke of what Quill once was to them. One presenter even called Quill his good friend. But as his neighboring presenter bluntly said, “Quill is dead.”
Well, it was a fun couple of days inside at the tax conference and not outside in the negative degree Ohio temperatures. And to end on a high note... Ohio’s sales tax holiday is permanent! Hooray and mark your calendars for the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of August each year!
If you would like to speak to one of our tax specialists, please call: 1 (866) 760-0940 or send a note to Miranda.Hawk@brixeyandmeyer.com to setup a time to speak.