Things to know as tax season opens
The Oregon Department of Revenue and the IRS began processing tax returns Jan. 29. Returns will be processed in the order received. This year, tax season ends on April 17.
Much like last year, the department won't be issuing personal income tax refunds until after Feb. 15. This refund hold is part of the state's tax fraud prevention activities, and will allow confirmation that the amounts claimed on returns matches what employers report on forms W-2 and 1099. The IRS is also holding federal personal income tax refunds, but only for those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Here are other important things for taxpayers to know:
There's a kicker this year. To figure out how much to claim for a kicker credit, taxpayers should multiply their 2016 tax liability before credits — line 24 on the 2016 Form OR-40 — by 5.6 percent. They can also use the What's My Kicker calculator at www.oregon.gov/dor, under "Popular Topics." Filing a 2017 return is the only way to claim a kicker; there are no kicker checks.
Tax payments are
due by April 17 too
Tax returns aren't the only thing due on April 17. It's also the date by which taxes owed for 2017 are due — even if the taxpayer has an extension to file. Payments can be made online, by mail, or in person and by cash, check, money order, cashier's check, debit or credit card, or electronic funds transfer. Cash payments are only accepted at the department's Salem headquarters. The regional offices can't accept cash.
Taxpayers who can't pay their taxes in full should contact the department as soon as possible to discuss setting up a payment plan or other payment options. Collections staff can be reached at 503-945-8200.
Order forms, publications,
and copies of past
Taxpayers can now order paper copies of tax forms and publications online. Go to www.oregon.gov/dor/forms and select "Order Paper Forms." Taxpayers can also request copies of previously filed returns 24/7 through Revenue Online. Tax information is confidential, so taxpayers must have a Revenue Online account to make a request. To sign up for a Revenue Online, visit at www.oregon.gov/dor and select "Revenue Online." There's a $5 fee for each return requested. Taxpayers can also request forms, publications, and returns by calling 503-
378-4988 or 800-356-4222 (toll free).
Don't forget about
any eclipse-related income
The August 21, 2017 solar eclipse event brought millions of visitors to Oregon. Taxpayers who sold merchandise or rented out their home or property for the event may have a state income or lodging tax obligation. Taxpayers should discuss reporting eclipse-related income with their tax preparers or check the instructions for Form OR-40, Oregon's individual income tax return. Lodging taxes must be collected by the property owner or their representative on any property that's rented out for 30 days or more during the calendar year.
multiple filing options
E-filing is the fastest way to get your tax refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks.
Some software companies offer free software use and federal and state e-filing for taxpayers meeting their eligibility criteria. There are also free and low-cost tax preparation services available throughout Oregon. Also, Oregon taxpayers preparing their own return can file electronically at no cost using Oregon's free fillable forms.
For more information on filing options, visit www.oregon.gov/dor and look under "Popular Topics."