The deadline to file state and federal personal income tax returns—May 17—is approaching, and the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates it will receive more than half a million more returns between now and then.
At least 1.5 million Oregonians have already filed their state personal income tax returns. The department is expecting about 2.2 million returns this year.
While most returns are processed without issue, there are a number of reasons returns may get flagged for additional review, including miscalculations on the return, misapplied payments, or missing documentation. Some of these can be corrected automatically, but others may require a request for more information or validation of the information by a staff member.
If your return ends up in manual review status, the best thing taxpayers can do is respond to any requests from the department as quickly as possible. Generally, taxpayers will receive letters requesting additional or missing documentation or asking them to take an identity verification quiz.
Do you owe taxes?
Those who owe taxes must make their payments by the same due date as their return, May 17. Some taxpayers are granted filing extensions, which means their returns aren’t due until October 15. However, an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Interest on taxes due starts accumulating the day after the return is due.
To make a payment:
Online: Make or schedule electronic payments from your bank account or by credit or debit card through Revenue Online at www.oregon.gov/dor.
In person: The department’s field offices can no longer accept cash, but they do still accept payments by check, money order, or credit or debit card by appointment. Cash payments are only accepted at the department’s main office in Salem. Appointments can be scheduled using the department’s self-service tool on the Contact Us page of Revenue’s website.
By mail: If you’re mailing your payment separate from your return, be sure to include a payment voucher so it can be appropriately credited. Visit www.oregon.gov/dor/forms for a blank personal income tax payment voucher (OR-40-V). The department’s website also has a list of mailing addresses for personal income tax payments. To avoid penalty and interest, your payment must be postmarked by May 17.
If you can’t pay your taxes, please contact the department as soon as possible. Based on your financial situation, you may be eligible for a payment plan.
Do you still need to file your return?
File electronically. E-filing is the fastest way to get your tax refund. 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.
Free e-filing. All Oregon taxpayers preparing their own returns can file electronically at no cost using Oregon’s free fillable forms. There are many other free or low-cost preparation options available for both federal and Oregon tax returns. Some software companies offer free software use and e-filing for eligible taxpayers. Visit the Department of Revenue website to take advantage of the software and free offers and get more information about free tax preparation services.
Earned Income Tax Credit. You may be missing out on a bigger refund if you’re not claiming the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Eligibility information is available at www.irs.gov/eitc. Taxpayers who are eligible for the EITC can also claim Oregon’s Earned Income Credit (EIC).
Unemployment exclusion. Unemployment benefits are generally treated as income for tax purposes. The American Rescue Plan enacted on March 11, 2021 allows individuals with modified Adjusted Gross Income of less than $150,000 to exclude up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits at the federal level, which Oregon follows. For taxpayers who already filed before the law was enacted, Oregon is adjusting these returns for the exclusion. If you are one of these taxpayers and have not received a refund or a notice of adjustment by the end of May, please contact the department.