Business gets back overpaid taxes PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 11:09
Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa (left) speaking with Pericles Paputsakis, owner of Cosmos II Family Restaurant, before giving Paputsakis a tax refund check due to an overpayment of business taxes made a few years ago. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
For more than two years, Pericles "Pete" Paputsakis didn't know he made a $2,000 mistake.
By overpaying his sales taxes and not knowing of the error, Paputsakis risked losing that money. Fortunately, Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa disagreed with a former practice that required business to request their money back. Otherwise, it went into state coffers after four years.
Testa made the rounds to a few Northwest Ohio businesses Wednesday, handing out checks for some of the $30 million that the state has collected in overpayments in the past few years alone. He made additional stops in Findlay and Toledo.
Paputsakis received $2,172.61, which includes interest. He said he plans to put the money back into his business, Cosmos II, the Bowling Green restaurant on South Main Street.
"It's the right thing to do. This money is yours," Testa told Paputsakis. "I know that money is in much better hands - your hands - than it is in the state treasury."
After verifying it with his bookkeeper, Paputsakis said he was surprised to learn about the overpayment and encouraged by the new policy that brought it back to him.
"The bookkeeper tells me to pay this and I pay it. I talked to her and she said we paid it twice," Paputsakis said.
"It happens more often than you'd think," said Testa. "Put it to good use."
Testa said he's not only making the change a policy in his office, but pursuing legislation to make the return of overpayments a law.
"It's the right thing to do and it's the smart thing to do, because he (Paputsakis) will put it to use," Testa said.
"We want to make it (the return policy) permanent," he added, noting that a bill has already passed the Senate and is expected to be approved by the House.
Testa said about $22 million has been returned so far, and he hopes to distribute the rest by the end of the year.
He said he couldn't imagine how much the state acquired from overpaid taxes over the years.
"They just didn't tell them and kept their money," he said. "This has gone on for a long, long time."

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 11:30

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