MAY BUSINESS FILINGS RELEASED – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced 7,945 new entities filed to do business in Ohio during May 2015. This number is a slight improvement from the same period last year when 7,820 new entities filed.
So far in 2015, 42,363 new businesses have been formed in Ohio, maintaining course for 2015 to be a record-breaking year for the state. At the same point in 2014, 41,594 new business entities were filed.
The state has experienced record business growth each year for the past five years, beginning in 2010. Under the leadership of Secretary Husted, the state has made it possible for more than 80% of all filings to be done online with one in two companies now being established electronically through the Secretary of State’s Ohio Business Central service.
The General Assembly has recently given approval to House Bill 3, which will reduce the filing fee for new businesses in Ohio by 21 percent. Secretary Husted urged the General Assembly to undertake this initiative in January after responsible fiscal stewardship over the Secretary of State’s office has reduced operating expenses by more than $14 million over the past four years, representing a 16% cut from the previous administration.
IRS TARGETS REFUND FRAUD – The Internal Revenue Service joined with representatives of tax preparation and software firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators to announce a sweeping new collaborative effort to combat identity theft refund fraud and protect the nation’s taxpayers.
The agreement — reached after the project was originally announced March 19 — includes identifying new steps to validate taxpayer and tax return information at the time of filing. The effort will increase information sharing between industry and governments. There will be standardized sharing of suspected identity fraud information and analytics from the tax industry to identify fraud schemes and locate indicators of fraud patterns. And there will be continued collaborative efforts going forward.
“This agreement represents a new era of cooperation and collaboration among the IRS, states and the electronic tax industry that will help combat identity theft and protect taxpayers against tax refund fraud,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We’ve made tremendous progress, and we will continue these efforts. Taxpayers filing their tax returns next filing season should have a safer and more secure experience.”
ODNR OFFERS PADDLE OHIO EVENTS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering a series of Paddle Ohio events to promote paddling on Ohio’s state-designated wild, scenic and recreational rivers and water trails. Nearly 150 people participated in the Paddle Ohio floats offered last year by the ODNR Division of Watercraft during the program’s inaugural year.
“Paddling Ohio’s rivers and water trails provides paddlers a unique perspective of our state’s beautiful landscapes,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “It is a great opportunity for family and friends to enjoy time together while bringing attention to our efforts and the work of our partners to preserve and protect Ohio’s scenic and vital waterways.”
While people are encouraged to paddle at their convenience, a number of events are currently planned throughout the summer, including floats on the Chagrin, Little Miami, Maumee and Olentangy scenic rivers and the Great Miami and Muskingum River water trails. For event dates and more detailed information, including registration, visit paddle.ohiodnr.gov. The Olentangy and Maumee scenic rivers floats are currently at capacity, but paddlers with their own equipment and transportation are still welcome to attend and participate. Check paddle.ohiodnr.gov for possible float cancellations due to high water.
The Paddle Ohio initiative will reward individuals who paddle four of Ohio’s wild, scenic and recreational rivers or water trails with a commemorative pin. Participants simply submit information about their four paddling trips on the Paddle Ohio registration form at paddle.ohiodnr.gov, and ODNR will mail the pin to qualifying individuals. Future plans include a series of pins that paddlers will be able to collect for paddling up to 20 different segments of the designated rivers or water trails.