Monday, December 12, 2011

Who is RITA and why is she bugging me?

I once had a client who's wife accused him of having an affair because of the checks he kept writing to "Rita".  She apparently was not aware that RITA is the abbreviation for the Regional Income Tax Agency.   My client was simply trying to comply with the tax laws of his city by paying his quarterly estimates.

Ohio is one of the few states where cities impose their own income tax.  There are approximately 600 different city income taxes in Ohio.  RITA administers city taxes for 198 municipalities in Ohio. Another large company that administers city taxes is the Central Collection Agency (CCA).  The city of Columbus administers several neighboring cities in addition to their own.   In northeast Ohio, RITA and CCA dominate.  And many cities choose to administer their own tax returns; among these are Euclid, Eastlake, Solon, Parma, and Lakewood.

You are required to file your city income tax return based on where you live.  Most taxpayers work for someone else and receive a W2.  Employers must withhold city income tax based on where the employee performs the work.  But what if you work in a different city than where you live?   That's where we get to the idea of reciprocity - a  fancy word to tell us how much credit your residence city gives you for work performed in another city.  If your hometown has 100% reciprocity you get full credit for withholding or payments to another city.

You are also required to file an income tax return if you are self-employed or own rental property.  Profit on these endeavors is taxable to the city in which the business or rental property is located.

Townships don't have any city tax; no tax return is required for residents. How about that?

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post and it's title. I am a transplant from CT and had always wondered about 'her' until it was all spelled RITA of course, and not in a very nice fashion. All squared away and understand it more now..but great post for those who are being 'bugged', it can be tricky.