Crain’s Cleveland | Ohio lawmakers move to restore small-business tax break for lawyers and lobbyists

Published in Crain’s Cleveland Business
October 11, 2019 02:03 PM

Finance reporter

Read the full article.

It looks as if Ohio’s lawyers and lobbyists will get to keep their business income tax break after all — at least for a couple more years.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio House members voted 90-0 Oct. 11 to kill a portion of the state budget that eliminated the small-business income deduction exclusively for lawyers and lobbyists. The decision to eliminate the tax break was made during the 11th hour of budget negotiations in July.

The removal of that tax break left the legal profession confused and irate. “I’m not disappointed, I’m pissed,” Ohio lawyer Brittany O’Diam Horseman said at the time in reaction to the change.

According to the Dispatch, House Speaker Larry Householder said the measure is “impossible to enforce” because tax forms don’t require a person to list their occupation.

The corresponding language in the tax code as written was overly broad, said Mary Jo Dolson, a veteran tax expert with Skoda Minotti, creating confusion about how the changes apply to businesses that provide legal services in addition to other work — such as Skoda Minotti. The same confusion applies for companies with in-house lawyers or lobbyists.

Meanwhile, Richard Fry, chair of the taxation group for Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, told Crain’s that excluding a particular profession from the tax break is likely unconstitutional and wouldn’t stand up in court… [more]

Read the full article from Crain’s Cleveland Business.

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