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Common questions

Registrations

1. How do I register?
You can register online using the Oregon Business Registry. Once this information has been received, please allow one to three days to process. We will issue a business identification number (BIN).

OR

You can complete the paper Combined Employer's Registration. Submit the form to the Employment Department by fax to 503-947-1528 or by mailing to:
875 Union St. NE Rm 107
Salem OR 97311
Once this form has been received, please allow three weeks to process. We will issue a business identification number (BIN).
 
2. Can I obtain my BIN by phone?
Oregon does not allow you to obtain your BIN by phone. You must complete the Combined Employer's Registration . (See above).
 
3. Do I receive verification of my BIN?
You will receive a registration notice, including your Oregon BIN, once the business is registered. The BIN is also printed on your payment coupons (OTC).
 
4. Are there fees associated with registering my business for withholding tax?  

No, there is no charge for obtaining an Oregon BIN.
 
5. Do I need to get separate numbers for Employment and Worker's Benefit Fund (WBF)?
No. You only need one BIN to report and pay all payroll tax programs. These include Withholding Tax, Unemployment Tax, Workers Benefit Fund, TriMet Transit Tax (if applicable), and Lane Transit Tax (if applicable).
 
6. Why do you need the Social Security number(s) of the owner/officer(s)?
The Social Security number is required under OAR 150-305.100 for the purpose of identifying the responsible person(s) for the withholding account. Social Security numbers are subject to the confidentiality provisions of ORS 314.835 and 314.840.
 
7. Why do you need a physical location for my Oregon employees?
Depending on where your employees perform the work (office, job site, home, etc.), they could be subject to either the TriMet Transit Payroll Tax or the Lane Transit Payroll Tax. For more information, see publication Oregon Transit Taxes for Employers.
 
8. If I change my business structure (for example, sole proprietorship to a partnership), do I need a new BIN?
Anytime you change your business structure, you must complete a new Combined Employer's Registration.
 
9. It's been a while since I had payroll. Can't I just reopen my old account number?
If it has been more than a year since you last reported payroll taxes, you must complete a new Combined Employer's Registration or you can call us at 503-945-8091 to have your account reopened.
 
10. How do I close my withholding account?

Complete the Business Change in Status Form and mail to the address listed.
 
11. How do I update my address and phone for my withholding account?

You can update your address or phone number by using the online process through the Oregon Business Registry. 
OR
By completing the Business Contact Change Form and mail to the address listed.
 
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Subjectivity

 
1. Are employers residing in or doing business in Oregon required to withhold Oregon tax? 
You must withhold Oregon tax from all wages paid to employees who are residents of Oregon, including any wages earned outside of Oregon. Employers who pay wages to Oregon residents may be relieved of the duty to withhold if it can be shown to the satisfaction of the department that each employee will receive $300 or less from the employer for the calendar year.
 
2. Are wages paid to nonresident employees subject to withholding? 
For more information, please see Withholding/Transit Tax information. Employers must withhold Oregon income tax from all wages earned by nonresident employees for services performed in Oregon, unless their Oregon earning for the year will be less than their standard deduction amount for their filing status. Nonresident employees with wages greater than their standard deduction amount are required to file an Oregon nonresident return. The standard deduction changes each year.  
Note: Nonresident employees may earn less then their standard deduction, but still request withholding because they have additional Oregon income.
 
3. What about employers located outside of Oregon? Are they required to withhold for Oregon residents working out of state? 
The Oregon Department of Revenue cannot require withholding when work is performed for an employer who does not have employees working in Oregon. However, we do ask employers to register and withhold taxes as a convenience to the employee.
 
4. Does Oregon require withholding on pension and annuities? 
Yes. The withholding of taxes for commercial annuities, deferred compensation plans, and individual retirement plans is mandatory. However, an individual may elect to have no state withholding in these cases.
 
5. Does Oregon require withholding on Section 125 or Cafeteria plans? 
These are considered pre-tax dollars. These are not subject to withholding.

  6. Are wages paid to corporate officers subject to withholding? 
Corporation officers are considered to be employees of the corporation. Payments for services performed for the corporation are subject to withholding (whether S corporation or C corporation). True dividends, usually paid no more than once a year, are not subject to withholding.
 
7. Does Oregon require withholding on household employees? 
As with federal requirements, Oregon income tax is not required to be withheld for household employees. However, income tax can be withheld if the household employee asks you to withhold and you agree. You must fill out the Combined Employer's Registration and the employee must complete federal Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate).
 
8. How does Oregon treat withholding on tip income? 
Tips paid by the customer to the employee are not subject to withholding tax. Tips paid by the customer to the employer who then distributes them to the employees are subject to withholding.  
Note: All tips are subject to income tax.
 
9. Are wages paid to immediate family members subject to withholding? How about children under the age of 18? 
Yes. Wages paid for work performed by family members are subject to withholding. This includes your spouse, parent, siblings, and children under the age of 18.
 
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Forms

1. How do I obtain forms? 
Forms can be ordered online at the Employment Department or you may call the Oregon Department of Revenue at 503-945-8091.
 
2. How do I obtain payment coupons? 
First, you must have an active BIN with the State of Oregon. If you do not, complete the Combined Employer's Registration. To order additional coupons, write to Oregon Department of Revenue, PO Box 14800, Salem OR 97309-0920. You can also order personalized coupons from the Employment Department or by calling 503-945-8091 or 503-378-4988. Be sure to indicate how many coupons you need.
 
3. Where do I get an Oregon withholding allowance certificate? 
What the employee claims for federal purposes is used for Oregon, unless the employee has completed a separate W-4 with "Oregon Only" written on it.
 
4. Where do I get W-2 or W-4 forms? 
These are federal forms. They can be requested from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or from the IRS website under Forms and Publications.
 
5. How can I get an Oregon withholding tax table? 
You may download an Oregon Withholding Tables or Oregon Withholding Formulas from the Department of Revenue or by calling 503-945-8091 or 503-378-4988.
 
6. I just received the OTTER CD. I would prefer to file by paper. How would I obtain paper forms instead?
Simply request personalized current year returns from the Employment Department or call 503-945-8091 or 503-378-4988.
 
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Reporting requirements

 
1. My employee has claimed “exempt” on their W-4 form. What do I do?
Please send a copy of the W-4 to the Department of Revenue if:
a. An employee claims exempt on the W-4 form for state withholding only; or
b. The employee claims exempt on the W-4 form for both state and federal and the employees earnings exceed $200 a week.  

Send to:
W-4 Project Manager
Oregon Department of Revenue
PO Box 14560
Salem OR 97309

2. What if the employee refuses to complete the W-4? How do I withhold?
You would withhold at a rate of Single / 0.
 
3. How often do I need to pay my withholding tax deposits?
Generally, your withholding deposits must be made at the same frequency as your federal deposit schedule.
 
4. What if I'm a multi-state employer? Can I request a different method of withholding tax payments?
Multi state employers who believe that their federal withholding frequency creates an undue burden for them that is not shared by other similar employers may request a different payment frequency for withholding tax deposits. Requests must be submitted in writing to: Oregon Department of Revenue, 955 Center St NE, Salem OR 97301-2555. The request should contain the following information: business name, Oregon BIN, reason for request, remedy requested, and proposed start date of new payment frequency.
 
5. What form do I use to file a quarterly report?
You must submit the Oregon Quarterly Tax Report (Form OQ).
 
6. Do out-of-state employers who are withholding as a “courtesy” still need to file quarterly reports as well?
Yes.
 
7. Do I still need to file a quarterly report if I have no payroll for the quarter?
Yes. As long as your account remains active, you must submit a report even if you have no payroll. You can also file a “no payroll report” with the Employment Department using an automated phone system.
 
8. When are the withholding reports due?
Quarterly reports are due by the last day of the month following each quarter. Agricultural and domestic reports are due January 31.
 
9. Can I file my report online?
There are two options to file online. Oregon Tax Employer Reporting (OTTER), a CD-driven program that allows for returns to be filed through the personal computer; and Secured Employer Tax Reporting Online (SETRON), which allows return to be filed through the web.
 
10. Can I make my payroll tax payments electronically?
Yes. To register for the electronic funds transfer program (EFT), simply complete an ACH Debit or ACH Credit Agreement and Application form. The forms can be obtained on our website or by calling the EFT help line at 503-947-2017. Return your completed form to the Oregon Department of Revenue.  
Important: If you are required to make your federal deposits by EFT, you must also make your state deposits by EFT.
 
11. I made an error when I filed my quarterly report. How do I correct it? Can I correct an online return by filing another one online (OTTER or SETRON)?
To correct the paper Form OQ, make a copy of the original report, make the necessary changes, and clearly write the word “Amended” on the top of the form in blue or black ink. Be sure to include a brief explanation of why you are amending the return and mail it to: Oregon Department of Revenue, PO Box 14800 Salem OR 97309-0920. Be sure to include an OTC (Oregon Tax Coupon) and payment if needed.  
You must also amend online returns by paper copy. You cannot transmit the correction electronically because the system will not accept the return.
 
12. I have a credit on my account. How do I report it?
Credits may be used in a future quarter for withholding or you may request a refund. Send a written request including the account name, BIN, and instructions on how to apply the credit or the request for refund to: Oregon Department of Revenue PO Box 14800, Salem OR 97309-0920.
 
13. What if I want to use my withholding credit to pay my Employment Transit or WBF tax? Can I just report it on Form OQ?
You must submit a written request with Form OQ if you plan to use your withholding credit to pay other programs. You would need to include the amount of the credit and how you wished the credit to be applied.
 
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Form WR

1. What is form WR?
As an Employer, you are required to submit form WR (Oregon Withholding Annual Reconciliation Report) to reconcile the information you previously submitted throughout the year. You will need to report the actual amount of withholding on your employee's W2/1099s.
 
2. I correctly filed form OQ for all four quarters. Is it still necessary to file form WR as well?
Yes. Like the federal form W3, form WR verifies the actual withholding reported and matches that information with the quarterly reports (form OQ).   
 
3. When is form WR due?
Form WR is due by February 28. If submitting W2s electronically, you can submit form WR by the extended due date of March 31. However, if you stop business anytime during the year, form WR is due within 30 days after your final payroll.
 
4. If I file my withholding using form WA (Oregon Annual Agricultural Report)? Do I need to submit form WR also?
Yes. Even though you file an annual return, you're still required to submit form WR.
 
5. If I file form OA (Oregon Annual Domestic Return), do I also submit form WR?
Yes. Even though you file an annual return, you're still required to submit form WR.
 
6. I'm required to submit my W2s electronically. Do I still need to file form WR?
Yes.
 
7. Is it necessary for an owner/officer to sign form WR?
No. However, the person completing and signing form WR must be able to provide additional information. 
 
8. When completing boxes 1 through 4 on form WR, do I include Employment and WBF payments, as well as my quarterly withholding totals?
No, boxes 1 through 4 should only have the tax actually reported on form OQ for withholding each quarter. You then enter the total in box 5.
   
9. Isn't the amount I put in box 5 the same as box 6?
Not necessarily. Box 5 is the total withholding reported on your OQ, WA, or OA reports for the year. Line 6 is the ACTUAL amount of withholding you reported on all W2/1009s issued to your employees. These numbers may not always be the same.  
 
10. Do I need to send my W2/1099s with form WR?
No, but you will need to keep them on file in case we ask for them later.
 
11. I don't have four quarters to report because I file form WA (or OA), how do I fill out lines 1 - 4?
Take the annual amount reported on form WA (or OA) and insert that number on line 4 of form WR.

Submitting corrections  
12. What if there's a difference between what I filed on form OQ (line 5) and the W2/1099s (line 6)
Report any difference between line 5 (total withholding tax reported) and line 6 (total tax shown on the W2s or 1099s) on line 7. If line 6 is larger than line 5, you will owe additional tax. If line 6 is smaller than line 5, you've overpaid and will have a credit balance. Please provide a detailed explanation of the differences below line 7.
 
13. I've discovered an error after I submitted form WR. How do I make a correction? 
Make corrections on a copy of your previously submitted form WR. Write "Amended" across the top in blue or black ink. Explain the reason for the correction on line 7. Include any amended OQs for each quarter you are correcting and mail these together with the amended form WR.  
 
14. Do I need to submit any substantiation for the change?
Yes, you'll need to substantiate changes if you're reporting a significant change on form WR or are requesting a large refund due to errors that occurred during the year. Your refund request may be delayed if a sustantiation is not submitted. 
 
15. What type of substantiation or documentation should be included?
Substantiation should include such information as:
  • A detailed explanation on line 7.
  • W2C and/or W3 transmittals showing the correct information reported to the IRS for state withholding taxes.
  • Company reconciliation reports (other than the W3 transmittal) verifying what had been reported to the IRS for Oregon withholding.
  • If withholding was corrected because an employee relocated, send a record of when that occurred.
  • W4 showing the corrected number of allowances claimed.
  • Any other substantiation that verifies the changes being reported on form WR. 


Reporting mergers

16. We merged several companies last year. IRS allows that all W2 information can be reported under the successor company and reported under one FEIN. How do we correctly complete form WR?
Form WRs should be completed for each BIN (Business Identification Number) involved in the merger, even though all W-2s are being reported under the successor companies' FEIN/BIN to allow for the correct reconciliation of accounts.

If not possible, send an explanation with the following:
  • When the merger took place.
  • A list of the companies involved in the merger, including their BINs.
  • Contact information for the person who would provide additional information. 
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