Oregon Dept. of Revenue
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Department of Revenue urges you to keep alert for tax scams - 03/21/19

It’s never safe to let down your guard, warns the Oregon Department of Revenue. Scam tactics are always evolving and becoming more effective. Scammers try many different methods to trick people into giving them personal information or money.

The best way for taxpayers to make payments directly to the Department of Revenue is through Revenue Online. It’s secure and includes all the information necessary to ensure the payment is properly applied to the correct account. Go directly to oregon.gov/dor to find Revenue Online. Payment providers may provide links that appear to take you to the government site, but just end up taking you to another area of the provider’s site.

Scams mainly come in the form of a phone call, email, or standard mail. Here are some tips to help you identify scam attempts.

  • Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be representatives of the Oregon Department of Revenue or other tax officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill and may use threats or a sense of urgency to con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The Department of Revenue never uses methods like these when making calls. Hang up on suspicious phone calls. No matter how urgent a message makes a situation sound, you can always hang up, call the Department of Revenue at their published phone numbers [(503) 378-4988 or (800) 356-4222 (toll-free)], and know that you’re dealing with an actual government employee.

 

  • Scammers send letters. Letters often contain legitimate logos, addresses, and phone numbers to fool you. Sometimes, these letters expose themselves as scams through blurry logos, misspellings, and poor grammar. Letters are usually in the form of a fake tax bill or claiming an error with your account. Letters from the Department of Revenue will have information that is verifiable through our website and every letter is printed with an identification number in the upper right corner.
  • Scammers set up fake websites. Some scams that start as unsolicited calls or letters may also try to send you to fake websites. These websites are designed to look like and official federal or state agency site. Remember that the Oregon Department of Revenue’s web address will always begin with an “https://” designation and be from the “.gov” extension. Look for these in the web address when entering financial information to make sure you’re dealing with us directly.

For more information on protecting yourself or what to do if you’re a victim of identity theft, visit:

You can visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get forms, check the status of your refund, or make payments. You can call (503) 378-4988 or (800) 356-4222 (toll-free) or email questions.dor@oregon.gov for additional assistance. For TTY for hearing- or speech-impaired, call (800) 886-7204.

First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts can help residents save for a new home - 03/05/19

SALEM, Ore.—Potential homeowners can consider using an Oregon First-time Homebuyers Savings Account (FTHSA) to help save for a new home and possibly reduce their taxes.

In 2018, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4007, which allows Oregon taxpayers to deduct up to $5,000 ($10,000 if filing jointly) per year from their taxable income for deposits and earnings in a FTHSA.

Eligible Oregon residents are those who haven’t purchased or owned a single-family home, either individually or jointly, in the three years prior to the date of their planned purchase of a home in Oregon. Accounts can be set up through any financial institution that offers FTHSAs in Oregon through December 31, 2026.

Funds in a FTHSA can be used for:

  • Down payments.
  • Closing costs.
  • Realtor fees.
  • Appraisal costs.
  • Loan origination fees.

A FTHSA may be opened anytime through December 31, 2026. Money deposited in the FTHSA must be used to buy a single-family home within 10 years of initially opening the account. If funds are not used to purchase a home, a five percent penalty may be imposed, and taxpayers will be required to add back to their income any amounts previously deducted.

For more information visit, www.oregon.gov/dor and search for “First-time Homebuyers Savings Account.”

Department of Revenue to offer waivers of interest on 2018 tax underpayment - 02/26/19

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Revenue is providing relief for some taxpayers by waiving underpayment interest for taxpayers whose 2018 Oregon withholding and estimated tax payments were impacted by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

This waiver is available to taxpayers:

  • Who owe at least $1,000 in tax, and
  • Whose total Oregon withholding and estimated payments made on or before January 15, 2019 covered at least 85 percent of their 2018 net tax.

The usual threshold is 90 percent to avoid underpayment interest.

If a taxpayer paid less than 85 percent of their tax liability, they are not eligible for the waiver. Those taxpayers who did not pay at least 85 percent of their tax liability will be subject to the underpayment interest. Taxpayers who owe less than $1,000 are not charged underpayment interest.

Are you eligible for a waiver?

Complete Part A of Form OR-10 (www.oregon.gov/dor/forms). If the form shows that you owe overpayment interest, follow these steps:

  1. Combine your total estimated tax payments made by January 15, 2019 with the amount of withholding entered on line 6 of the form.
  2. Multiply the net tax amount on line 4 by 0.85.
  3. If the amount from step 2 is less than step 1, request a waiver. If not, complete the rest of Form OR-10 to calculate the underpayment interest you owe.

Requesting a waiver (paper and electronic filers):

  1. Enter "4" in the exception box on Form OR-10, line 1.
  2. Also enter "4" in box 40a on your 2018 Form OR-40, which is your personal income tax return (box 65a on part-year returns or 66a on nonresident returns). If you've already filed your 2018 return, you can mail the Form OR-10 to DOR or submit it electronically through your Revenue Online account.
  3. Attach a statement to your Form OR-10 with the label "Form OR-10 attachment" and the statement "85% waiver."
  4. File your Form OR-10 and attachment with your 2018 tax return.

DOR urges Oregonians to do a paycheck checkup to ensure they’re withholding enough from their wages for 2019. Oregon’s new Form OR-W-4 and online withholding calculator allow taxpayers to more accurately determine the appropriate amount to withhold for Oregon. Both the Form OR-W-4 and the calculator are available at the department’s website at www.oregon.gov/dor.

Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, call (800) 356-4222 toll-free (English or Spanish) or (503) 378-4988 or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1 (800) 886-7204. Due to the number of calls Revenue receives during tax season, you may experience extended wait times.