In Ohio, nonprofit organizations operated exclusively for charitable purposes under Ohio law, and organizations that are exempt from federal income taxes under Code section 501(c)(3) are exempt from paying sales tax on their purchases of tangible personal property or taxable services. However, to claim the exemption, the purchase must be transacted by, or on the credit of, the organization – meaning that it is the organization that is paying the seller for the transaction. The organization must also provide to the seller a signed and dated certificate of exemption. The certificate excuses the seller from collecting the tax. If it does not obtain the certificate, the seller must charge and collect the tax from the customer.
Often, an individual may transact a purchase on behalf of the nonprofit, using his or her own money and later seek reimbursement from the organization or treat the purchase as a donation. In that case, the individual may not transact the purchase without the payment of sales tax. Only if the purchase is billed to the exempt organization, or if a credit card belonging to the organization is used, may the exemption be claimed.