Court: Ohio must refund tax penalty to congressman, wife

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Supreme Court has directed the state tax commissioner to refund a nearly $360,000 penalty to a Republican congressman and his wife who delayed paying tax on income earned by a trust because they relied on an earlier legal interpretation putting the tax on the trust.

Wednesday’s ruling ordered a refund of the penalty and interest to U.S. Rep Jim Renacci (rih-NAY’-cee) and Tina Renacci. The Wadsworth couple paid $1.4 million in Ohio income tax owed for 2000 in 2007, but sought a refund of the penalty paid in 2008.

The ruling says they had “reasonable cause” to believe they didn’t owe tax on profits going into the trust.

The commission didn’t immediately comment.

Renacci’s statement said his fight was about fairness for taxpayers and standing up to “government overreach.”