Guide to filing an Ohio state tax return

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Cleveland skyline in the background.David Shvartsman/Moment Open/Getty ImagesImage: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Cleveland skyline in the background.

In a Nutshell

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio has extended its filing and payment deadline for 2019 income taxes to July 15, 2020.  
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This article was fact-checked by our editors and Jennifer Samuel, senior product specialist for Credit Karma. It has been updated for the 2019 tax year.

Ohio may stand out as the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but when it comes to state tax burden, it’s solidly in the middle of the pack.

The Buckeye State ranks 19th in the country for state and local tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation. The state uses its revenue, including money from tax collection, to fund schools, colleges, government operations, and programs to stimulate businesses and health and human services.

What are the basics of Ohio state taxes?

In addition to a state-level personal income tax, many Ohio school districts and municipalities have an income tax. Ohio also has a sales and use tax, as well as property taxes. This article focuses on Ohio state income tax.

Taxing body

The Ohio Department of Taxation administers tax laws and collects taxes in the state of Ohio. The department’s general information number is 1-800-282-1780. You can also find answers to many state tax questions at Ohio Department of Taxation’s Self Help eLibrary.

Filing and payment deadline

For 2019 state taxes, the state has extended the filing and payment deadline. Ohio residents now have until July 15, 2020 to file their state returns and pay any state tax they owe. As with the federal deadline extension, Ohio won’t charge interest on unpaid balances between April 15 and July 15, 2020.

Although this year is a bit different, generally, Ohio’s Tax Day is the same as the deadline for filing your federal tax return — April 15. However, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, it will be extended to the next business day.

Filing statuses

Ohio recognizes the following federal filing statuses:

  • Single
  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately
  • Head of household
  • Qualifying widow(er)

Your Ohio filing status must be the same as your federal filing status. If you and your spouse filed a joint federal tax return, you must file a joint Ohio tax return.

How filing status affects your federal income taxes

Ohio income tax rates

Starting with the 2019 tax year, Ohio has reduced the number of tax brackets from eight to six and lowered tax rates by 4%. For 2019 taxes, the brackets and corresponding tax rates are:

Taxable income

Tax rate and tax due




2.85% plus $310.47


3.326% plus $928.92


3.802% plus $2,374.07


4.413% plus $3,202.91

More than $217,400

4.797% plus $7,999.84

What are some Ohio deductions and credits?

Single taxpayers can take an exemption for themselves, unless someone else claims them as a dependent. Ohio taxpayers who are married filing jointly can take an exemption for themselves and their spouse. Plus you can take an exemption for each qualified dependent you claimed on your federal tax return.

The personal/dependent exemption amount is based on your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI.

For 2019, the personal/dependent exemption amounts are …

  • $2,350 for Ohio adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less
  • $2,100 for Ohio AGI of $40,001–$80,000
  • $1,850 for Ohio AGI more than $80,000

Itemized deductions/income adjustments

Deductions you may be able to itemize include the following:

  • Health, dental or vision insurance premiums
  • Medical care expenses that exceed 7.5% of your federal AGI
  • Business income
  • Deposits into a medical savings account
  • Ohio income tax you paid while living in a qualifying neighboring state
  • Up to $2,000 per beneficiary, per year for contributions to, or tuition units purchased from, the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority’s CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan

Ohio state tax credits

In addition to numerous credits for business, Ohio offers tax credits for individual taxpayers, including …

  • Retirement income credit: If you meet income requirements, are retired, and received income from retirement plans, annuities, pensions or profit-sharing plans, you may qualify for this credit.
  • Senior citizen credit: If you meet income requirements and are 65 or older on Dec. 31 of the tax year, you might be eligible for this credit. Joint filers must both meet the age requirement to claim the credit.
  • Child care and dependent care credit: If you meet MAGI limitations and qualified for the federal child and dependent care credit, you may be able to claim 25% of your federal credit amount.
  • Joint filing credit: Taxpayers married filing jointly, with each spouse having an AGI of $500 or more, may qualify for a credit, depending on their income tax base. The maximum credit per return is $650, and the amount you may qualify for depends on your MAGI less exemption amounts.
  • Earned income credit: If you qualified for the federal EITC, you may be able to take a state-level credit equal to 30% of your federal credit.
  • Adoption credit: For each child younger than 18 that you adopt during the tax year, you can claim a credit that is the greater of $1,500 or your actual adoption expenses, up to $10,000.

How can I file an Ohio state tax return?

You have multiple options for filing and paying your Ohio state tax.

  • E-file and pay via the Ohio Department of Taxation’s I-File system. You’ll need to create an account.
  • Pay with a credit card or electronic check with the Ohio ePayment system.
  • E-file through an approved software provider.
  • Download tax forms — including Ohio IT-1040 EZ or IT-1040, Ohio’s equivalent of the federal 1040 — through the Ohio Department of Taxation website and mail a paper return.

If you’re mailing a paper return, where you send it depends on which form you use and whether you’re making a payment or not.

  • IT-1040 EZ without payment: Ohio Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 182294, Columbus, OH 43218-2294.
  • IT-1040 EZ with payment: Ohio Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 182850, Columbus, OH 43218-2850.
  • IT-1040 without payment: Ohio Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 2679, Columbus, OH 43270-2679.
  • IT-1040 with payment: Ohio Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 2057, Columbus, OH 43270-2057.

What if I owe and can’t pay?

If you can’t pay your tax bill on time, a payment plan with the Ohio Department of Taxation isn’t an option. You can make a partial payment if you can’t pay in full. But even if you can’t pay, you should still file by the due date to avoid costly late-filing penalties. The Ohio Department of Taxation will bill you later for the tax plus any additional charges.

Can I track an Ohio tax refund?

Like the IRS, Ohio has a refund-inquiry tool to help you track your state refund. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number and date of birth. You can also call the Ohio Department of Taxation’s automated refund status hotline: 1-800-282-1784.

Bottom line

You don’t have to carry a lucky “buckeye nut” in your pocket to file your Ohio state tax return properly. But make sure you file on time and provide all necessary information. If you want to get your refund more quickly, file electronically and request direct deposit. You can expect your refund in about 15 business days. Paper Ohio state tax returns take between eight and 10 weeks to process.

Jennifer Samuel, senior tax product specialist for Credit Karma, has more than a decade of experience in the tax preparation industry, including work as a tax analyst and tax preparation professional. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Leo University. You can find her on LinkedIn.

About the author: Deb Hipp is a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. When she’s not writing about personal finance and news, she enjoys traveling to seas… Read more.