State Tax Officials: BWC Dividends Likely Subject to CAT, Income Taxes — at Least for Now

In 2020, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) issued nearly $8 billion in dividends to employers to provide relief from the economic effects of COVID-19. It now appears those dividend payments will be subject to the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) and income tax, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT).

Hannah News Service reported that an ODT official told Ohio lawmakers that the agency currently views the dividends as taxable under the CAT. The same official noted that lawmakers could pass legislation exempting the BWC dividends from the CAT — but even if that happened, the dividends are “probably” subject to income taxes under federal law.

The OMA and other business groups are working with the administration to find a workable solution to this drastic policy shift by the state. Meanwhile, employers have begun to receive their 1099-G forms for 2020 BWC payments. 2/3/2021