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Electronic Filing Mandate for Ohio Commercial Activity Tax (CAT)

As a result of January 1, 2014 changes to the Ohio tax laws, we are no longer able to prepare paper commercial activity returns, and the electronic payment requirement makes it impractical for our offices to prepare and file this return on your behalf. The amendment in the most recent budget bill to allows the Department to require annual CAT taxpayers to file and pay electronically for returns filed on or after January 1, 2014. Taxpayers may file and pay electronically through the Ohio Business Gateway. Alternatively, annual taxpayers may utilize TeleFile as a means for filing and paying the annual CAT return electronically beginning in April 2014. This is a reminder to all Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) practitioners and taxpayers that the first quarter 2014 CAT return is due May 12, 2014. The 2013 CAT 12 annual return is also due on May 12th, 2014 for all Commercial Activity Tax annual taxpayers.

The CAT tax is a business privilege tax, measured on taxable gross receipts from activities in Ohio.  The tax applies to sales of goods and services and rental of property.

If your combined annual taxable gross receipts are less than $150,000.00:

  • You are exempt from registration.
  • Exempt from reporting this tax.

If your combined annual taxable gross receipts are $150,000.00 to $1,000,000.00:

  • You will be required to file annually.
  • Annual returns filed after January 1, 2014 must be filed and paid online through the Ohio Business Gateway.

If your combined annual taxable gross receipts exceed $1,000,000.00:

  • You will be required to file quarterly.
  • Your quarterly return must be filed and paid online through the Ohio Business Gateway.

Further answers to your Commercial Activity Tax questions can be found on the web site here.

Now that you are required to be involved with the Ohio Business Gateway system, take advantage of the convenient features it offers to you and your business. This requires taxpayers to set up an account with Ohio Business Gateway.  Follow the "Create an OBG Username" link on the login page. You must provide the FEIN or SSN for the business for which you would like to access OBG services.


Once you provide your personal information, the system will generate an email request to the business' OBG Administrator. Once the OBG Administrator has approved the request and assigned your access, you will receive your password at the email address you provided. You will then have access to a filing and payment menu that includes:

·         BSVI Business Enterprise Program

·         Municipal Income Taxes

·         Commercial Activity Tax

·         OhioMeansJobs

·         Declaration of Material Assistance/Nonassistance

·         Public Notice

·         Deferred Compensation

·         Sales and Use Tax

·         Equal Opportunity – MBE/EDGE, AA/EEO

·         Unclaimed Funds

·         Employer Withholding

·         Unemployment Compensation Tax

·         InvestOhio

·         Workers' Compensation Payroll Report