COLUMBUS — Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is helping Ohio insurance agents comply with state law through a program that could recover $21.7 million in unpaid income taxes, sales taxes and Workers Compensation premium payments.
The Ohio Department of Insurance’s Fraud, Enforcement and License Division, with help from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, has identified nearly 2,230 agents and agencies that owe the state of Ohio $21.7 million in personal income taxes, sales taxes, and workers compensation premium payments.
“This is a significant amount of money owed to the state of Ohio by insurance agents and agencies that are not in compliance with state laws,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure that the individuals selling insurance are in good financial standing with the State of Ohio. We want to continue to encourage a robust, competitive and stable market place. By requiring all agents and agencies to play by the same rules, we ensure a level playing field where all agents and agencies have the same opportunity to be successful.”
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the Director of the Department of Insurance may suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue an insurance license, assess a civil penalty, or impose other sanctions, if an agent or agency fails to comply with any official invoice, notice, assessment, or order directing payment of federal, state, or local income tax, state or local sales tax or worker’s compensation premiums.
Ohio recently passed a new licensing law requiring insurance agents to renew their licenses every two years. During the next 18 months, the Department will review renewal applications to make sure agents are in compliance. If an agent has an outstanding judgment lien filed against them or their organization, the Department will take administrative action against the agent’s license.
In order to avoid administrative action against their Ohio insurance licenses, agents who are not in compliance should contact the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Collections Enforcement Office at 614-752-8981 to make arrangements to satisfy their outstanding obligations. Agents may also contact the Ohio Department of Insurance Enforcement Division at 614-644-2560 for assistance.