Area taxpayers hit with penalties for tardiness, sloppiness

Tax day is just two weeks away, and when it comes to taxes, procrastination or careless math can lead to expensive consequences.

More than 51,700 tax returns in Ohio incurred a late filing penalty in tax years 2014-2016, including about 8,870 returns in Butler, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties, according to data obtained by this newspaper from the Ohio Department of Taxation.

For taxpayers in the seven-county region, the late-filing penalties exceeded $6.5 million during that time frame.

Also, more than 19,000 penalties were incurred for late payments.

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With the filing deadline fast approaching, taxpayers would be wise to carve out some time to do their taxes and double-check their numbers and calculations to make sure they are correct. Errors can result in people owing more money to the state than they otherwise would.

April 17 is tax day this year, and while many Ohioans have already filed, some people still need to mail in or submit their returns electronically. About 87 percent of Ohioans file electronically.

Across the region, taxpayers filed more than 716,000 returns with the state in 2016, state data show.

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But in tax years 2014 to 2016, about 8,871 returns were filed late by taxpayers in this region, resulting in penalties worth $6.5 million, according to state data.

The state also assessed more than $2.1 million in penalties for 19,005 tax payments that were tardy.

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More than 2,630 tax returns from local taxpayers were filed inaccurately, meaning they did not pay fully pay the taxes they owed, the data show.

Almost 6,000 taxpayers who were required to file did not, and more than 2,200 filed without making the proper payments, the data show.

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