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 that put the tax on the trust.

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

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

Messages left at the commissioner’s and congressman’s offices seeking comment weren’t immediately returned Wednesday.