Thomas M. Zaino, JD, CPA

Managing Member

Tom is Managing Member and founder of the Firm. He assists clients with multistate business tax issues and represents many multistate and multinational companies and their owners and executives, before various state departments of revenue across the country, as well as before the Ohio Department of Taxation, other federal and state agencies, municipal tax authorities, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, Ohio Supreme Court, and the Ohio General Assembly. Tom currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. He is a Past-Chair of both The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and The Ohio Society of CPAs. He also serves as Treasurer of the Manufacturing Policy Alliance.

 

Previously, Tom served as Ohio Tax Commissioner and a member of Governor Bob Taft’s cabinet. As Tax Commissioner, Tom led the Ohio Department of Taxation, which is responsible for administering most state-collected taxes, several locally collected taxes, and for supervising the real property tax. His role included guiding the development of Ohio's tax policy through state and federal legislative efforts.  Tom also worked closely with tax administrators in other states as a participant in the Federation of Tax Administrators, the Multistate Tax Commission and as chair of Ohio's delegation to the Implementing States Committee of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project.

 

Following an ethical scandal at the Ohio State Racing Commission in 2004, Tom was appointed by Governor Taft to the Racing Commission in order to assist the newly appointed Chair and Executive Director to reform the Racing Commission.  He was reappointed to the Racing Commission by Governor Strickland in 2007 and was instrumental in guiding the Strickland administration’s understanding of Ohio’s gaming laws.

 

Tom was also a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. At PwC, Tom represented clients in a wide variety of federal and multistate tax matters. Tom was also a founding member of the firm’s National VISION Team, a special project management service provided to large clients to assist in the implementation of significant business process and legal entity changes. ​​

Cases / Matters
  • Represented various companies and individuals in appeals before the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, and the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Tax Appeals Division, dealing with many types of taxes, including commercial activity tax, sales and use tax, personal income tax, corporation franchise tax and municipal income tax.

  • Represented The Ohio Society of CPAs and the Ohio Municipal Tax Reform Coalition to successfully reform Ohio's municipal income tax system. The new law became effective for tax periods beginning after 2015.

  • Advised many business owners and high-net worth individuals regarding state and local tax planning, as well as representing them in state and municipal tax audits and appeals related to residency, the treatment of stock option income and taxation of deferred income for state and municipal income tax purposes.

  • Coordinated a coalition of multinational businesses and business associations to prevent enactment of a broad sales tax on all professional services, business to business transactions, and on intangibles that would reduce the attractiveness of locating or growing a business in Ohio.

  • Effectively represented major industrial, financial and insurance industry clients with regard to Ohio's 2012 reform of bank taxation in Ohio, which was enacted in Am. Sub. H.B. 510 and became effective January 1st, 2014.

  • Assisted a Washington State based online retailer with evaluating the benefits and costs associated with locating distribution facilities in three alternative states and negotiated the receipt of millions of dollars of both state and local tax incentives.

  • Assisted Ohio CEOs to dramatically overhaul Ohio’s tax system, including participation on the project team as special tax counsel, drafting the initial version of the commercial activity tax, and effectively lobbying and testifying in support of the new tax system.

  • As Ohio Tax Commissioner, creatively negotiated a settlement with the telecommunication industry and local school districts involving $3.9 billion of tax refunds. Also, drafted and successfully lobbied for two major Taxpayer Service Bills, Ohio’s Offers in Compromise Program, and Municipal Income Tax Reform.

  • Frequent author and national lecturer on state and local tax developments for such groups as the American Bar Association, Council on State Taxation, Tax Executives’ Institute, Michigan Association of CPAs, and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.

 

Education​
  • J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1989)

  • B.B.A., Accounting, University of Cincinnati (1986)

 

Bar Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Ohio

  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio

 

Professional Associations 
  • American Bar Association (State and Local Tax Committee)

  • Ohio State Bar Association

  • The Ohio Society of CPAs (Past Board Chair)

  • AICPA (Member of Council)

  • Independent SALT Alliance (Cofounder and Treasurer)

 

Publications and Speeches
  • Ohio’s "Conservative" Republican Leadership Increases GRF Spending by Nearly $4.8 Billion and Targets Lawyers, Lobbyists, and Other Business Owners for Higher Taxes, Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC SALT Buzz, July 19, 2019.

  • Significant Developments in CAT and Other Business Privilege Taxes, 27th Annual Ohio Tax Conference (Columbus, OH – January 29, 2019).

  • Taming Those Gross Receipts Taxes, co-presented with Danielle Ahlrich, JD, Council on State Taxation Annual Meeting (Phoenix, AZ – October 25, 2018).

  • Top Ten Income Tax Cases, co-presented with Steven E. Grob, JD, CPA, Michigan Tax Conference (Novi, MI – November 2, 2017).

  • Taxpayers Beware!  Elimination of the Right to a Direct Appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court Soon Effective!  Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC SALT Buzz, September 22, 2017.

  • Ohio’s Biennial Budget Bill Enacted – Ohio Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on Tax Policy, Zaino Hall & Farrin SALT Buzz, July 3, 2017.

  • H.B. 5 Q&A:  Ohio Municipal Income Tax for Real Estate Brokers and Agents, Ohio Association of REATORS website, January, 2017.

  • Model Municipal Ordinances and Priceless Insight on Most Important Law Changes, 26th Annual Ohio Tax Conference (Columbus, OH – January 26, 2016).

  • Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Rules that Columbus City Tax Ordinance Did Not Require Employer to Withhold City Tax on SERP Amounts, co-authored with Stephen K. Hall, Esq., Bloomberg BNA, Tax Management Weekly State Tax Report, Respective, July 24, 2015.

 

Awards and Honors​ 
  • AV® Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rating

  • Ohio House of Representatives Resolution for Exemplary State Service

  • Ohio Senate Resolution for Outstanding State Service

  • Director’s Award, Ohio Department of Development

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2012 - Present)

 

Community Activities​ 
  • Young Catholic Professionals–Columbus, Board of Directors

  • St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, Finance Committee

  • Knights of Columbus – St. Jude Council 5801

  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee, member; Past Chair (2005 - present)

  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, Vice President and Board Member (2015 – present)

  • State Racing Commission (2004 - 2011)

  • Prevent Blindness Ohio, Board of Directors and Treasurer (2004 - 2011)

  • Ohio Partnership for Excellence, Board of Directors (2007 - 2010)

  • Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for Financing Student Success (2003 - 2004)

  • Committee to Study State and Local Taxes (Chair, 2002 - 2003)

  • Federation of Tax Administrators, Washington, DC (Board of Trustees, 2002 - 2003)

  • Ohio Delegation to the Implementing States Committee of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project

  • Midwest States Association of Tax Administrators (President, 1999 and Member, 1999 - 2003)

41 South High Street, Suite 3625, Columbus, Ohio 43215, Tel. 614-782-1440

Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer