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ODA partners with Oregon Department of Revenue on Licensee Tax Compliance Project
House Bill 3082, enacted by the 2009 Oregon Legislature, authorized the Department of Revenue (DOR) to develop a pilot project that required people who hold state-issued occupational licenses (licensees) to be in tax compliance before they can renew or obtain a license. It authorized participating boards, commissions, and agencies to suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue licenses to applicants who didn't maintain tax compliance.
 
Generally, tax compliance means that you filed required tax returns and paid your tax.
 
Phase I
Phase I of HB 3082 was conducted in 2009 and 2010. It focused on licensees who must pay individual income tax. Phase I included two projects:
 
In the first project, DOR worked with three licensing boards and provided tax compliance information to licensees. Licensees who were out of compliance (hadn't filed required returns or hadn't paid tax) could have had their license suspended by their board.
 
In the second project, DOR worked with three other licensing boards and provided tax compliance status information only to licensees. Licensees who were out of compliance wouldn't have their license suspended. This informed us if simply telling a licensee about their compliance status would change or sustain their behavior.
 
DOR completed these projects in December 2010 and presented a final report to the Legislature in January 2011.
 
Phase II
Phase II is now beginning. It's an information-only project similar to the second project in Phase I. The second phase focuses only on licensees subject to withholding tax.
 
The Department of Revenue requested that your Agency participate in Phase II, and they agreed. This project will review a segment of the following licensees that are subject to Oregon's Withholding Tax Program:
  • Christmas Tree Growers
  • Commercial Pesticide  Operators
  • Retail Food Establishments (a sample of small, medium, and large establishments)
  • Retail Nursery Dealers
  • Retail Seed Dealers
DOR is also working with:
  • the State Plumbing Board (plumbing contractors); and
  • the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners (architectural firms).
Each board or agency will send a list of licensees to DOR. After DOR determines the compliance status of licensees they'll send each a letter and informational brochure. Licensees won't have their license suspended due to this project. However, DOR will follow up with out-of-compliance licensees through their regular enforcement processes.
 
Tax compliance for Phase II is defined as:
  • the past three years (12 quarters) of required withholding tax returns are filed; and
  • any balance owed is paid in full; or
  • the licensee or registrant is following the terms of an approved payment plan with DOR.
Why is Tax Compliance Important?
Tax compliance gives individuals and businesses similar advantages and opportunities. It promotes ethical business standards in your profession and ensures everyone is paying their fair share. Most importantly, taxes fund services for all Oregonians.
 
DOR encourages all licensees and registrants to be in compliance with all tax programs and all filing requirements. However, Phase II will focus only on withholding tax returns and balances due.
 
For more information regarding this Licensee Tax Compliance Project, please visit the links below or contact the Department of Revenue.
 
Information LINKS
 
Questions?
Email us at questions.dor@state.or.us; call 503-378-4988 from Salem and outside Oregon; or toll-free from an Oregon prefix 1-800-356-4222.