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HEARINGS FAQs
HEARINGS QUESTIONS
  1. What is a tax hearing?
  2. What happens at the hearing? 
  3. When will the hearing be held?
  4. How do I prepare for the hearing?
  5. How do I get a witness or subpoena?
  6. How do I postpone a hearing?
  7. What if I no longer want a hearing?
  8. What if some evidence surprises me?
  9. May an attorney represent me?
  10. What if I need an interpreter?
  11. What if I have special needs?
  12. When will I get the decision?
  13. What if the hearing decision changes the initial decision?
  14. What if I do not agree with the hearing decision?
 
 
1. Question
What is a tax hearing?  
 
Answer
A hearing is a fact-finding process. If you disagree with a decision regarding your unemployment insurance tax account, you have the right to request a hearing. The parties give information about the case at the hearing. Most of the information is given by testimony. All testimony is taken under oath. The information is taken by an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ is an employee of the Hearing Officer Panel. The ALJ´s job is to get the facts of the case and make a decision. The ALJ must make sure that all parties get a fair hearing. The hearing is the only chance the parties will have to tell their side of the case. If you want your information to be considered, you must appear at the hearing.
Employment Department tax hearings are tape-recorded. If the hearing decision is appealed, a transcript of that tape will be reviewed by the Court of Appeals.
 
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2. Question
What happens at the hearing?  
 
Answer
Most hearings are held by telephone. If the hearing is to be held by telephone, the notice will say so. If the hearing is to be in-person, the notice will give the address of the Employment Department office where the hearing will be conducted. The administrative law judge (ALJ) starts the hearing by explaining what will happen during the hearing and answering your questions. The ALJ will then swear in the first witness. The ALJ will ask questions and allow the party to ask questions of his or her witness on the issue. Then the other interested party or parties may ask questions of the witness. Then the next witness is called and the same process is followed. The process continues until al witnesses have given their testimony. You will be given a chance to offer written evidence such as contracts, by-laws, account ledgers, tax records, etc. You are expected to have your evidence and witnesses available at the time of the hearing.
 
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3. Question
When will the hearing be held?  
 
Answer
Prior to the hearing, you will receive a "Notice of Hearing." The notice will give the date and time of the hearing. The hearing will start on time. If you are late for a hearing, or are not available at your telephone your request for hearing may be dismissed. If your request for hearing is dismissed, the decision on the Employment Department Tax Section will remain in effect.
 
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4. Question
How do I prepare for the hearing?  
 
Answer
The Employment Department Tax Section mails copies of the case file to you and your representative. At the same time, they forward the case file to the Hearings Section. Carefully review the Employment Department Tax Section’s decision and note each point with which you disagree. The decision of the Tax Section’s representative is presumed to be legally correct. In order to have the decision changed, you must present evidence to prove the decision was wrong. Try to present evidence that supports your disagreement with each of these points.  
 
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5. Question
How do I get a witness or subpoena?  
 
Answer
If you need witnesses to help you explain your case, contact them as soon as possible. Be sure they are available at the time set for the hearing. Before you ask witnesses to appear at the hearing, be sure their testimony is necessary. Talk to them first. Find out what they know. Generally, you will want witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of the facts of your case. If a witness simply repeats what others will say, or doesn’t know anything about your case, the administrative law judge might not allow him or her to testify. If your witness is not willing to appear at the hearing, but his or her testimony is necessary, ask the Hearings Section for a subpoena. A subpoena orders the person to appear at the hearing.  
 
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6. Question
How do I postpone a hearing?  
 
Answer
A hearing may be postponed only if the request is made promptly and if you establish good cause for the postponement. If you need a postponement, telephone the Hearings Section immediately. The Hearings Section will allow or deny your request. After a hearing has started, it may be interrupted and continued to a later date with the administrative law judge’s permission. Hearings that are continued are usually rescheduled and completed within a few weeks.
 
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7. Question
What if I no longer want a hearing?  
 
Answer
Requests for hearing may be withdrawn by notifying the Hearings Section. If you withdraw your request for a hearing, the initial decision of the Employment Department Tax Section will remain in effect. 
 
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8. Question
What happens if some evidence surprises me?  
 
Answer
During the hearing if something new and unexpected arises, you may ask for a continuance of the hearing to get the papers or witnesses you need. The administrative law judge will determine whether good cause exists to continue the hearing.  
 
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9. Question
May an attorney represent me?  
 
Answer
You may represent yourself or be represented by an attorney, accountant, or any other person. Whether you need an attorney or other representative depends on the complexities of the issues and facts of the case. The Employment Department Tax Section usually does not have an attorney represent it. If you are going to hire an attorney or other representative, do so right away. Your representative will need time to prepare your case. If you hire a representative, inform the Hearings Section so that we can advise your representative of the date and time for the hearing.
If during the hearing you find out you need an attorney or representative; you may ask the administrative law judge (ALJ) for time to get one. The ALJ will decide whether to allow your request.  
 
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10. Question
What if I need an interpreter?  
 
Answer
Hearings are conducted in English. If your knowledge of English is limited or if you are hearing or speech impaired, or if you are reading this for a person, whose knowledge of English is limited, contact the Hearings Section immediately. We will arrange to have an interpreter available for the hearing. There is no charge to you for this service.  
 
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11. Question
What if I have special needs?
 
Answer
If you have special needs due to a physical impairment, let the Hearings Section know immediately so that reasonable accommodations can be made for you.  
 
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12. Question
When will I get the decision?  
 
Answer
The administrative law judge (ALJ) will review the evidence, write a decision and mail it to you. Normally, decisions are mailed within a few weeks after the hearing.  
 
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13. Question
What if the hearing decision changes the initial decision?  
 
Answer
If the hearing decision changes the initial decision, the Tax Section will make changes required and will notify you.  
 
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14. Question
What if I do not agree with the hearing decision?  
 
Answer
If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may file a request for review with the State of Oregon Court of Appeals. Your decision will state the number of days you have to request a review. For information about filing a request for review, you may call the Court of Appeals at (503) 986-5555. Or you may write to:
 
Court of Appeals
Appellate Records Manager
Supreme Court Bldg.
Salem OR 97310 

 
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