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Salem, OR—The Oregon Department of Revenue and the IRS will begin processing tax returns when the 2017 tax season opens January 23. Taxpayers can submit their 2016 returns earlier, but processing won't start until the tax season officially begins. Once processing begins, returns will be processed in the order received.

As a reminder, the Oregon Department of Revenue won't be issuing personal income tax refunds until after February 15. This refund hold is part of the state's tax fraud prevention activities, and will allow confirmation that the amounts claimed on returns matches what employers report on forms W-2 and 1099. The IRS is also holding federal tax refunds until after February 15, but only for those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.

Here are a few things for taxpayers to keep in mind this tax season:

E-filing is the fastest way to get your tax refund. On average, 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.

There are many 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. AARP and CASH Oregon provide free and low-cost tax preparation services throughout local communities. All Oregon taxpayers preparing their own return can file electronically at no cost using Oregon's free fillable forms.
For more information visit www.oregon.gov/dor and search for “free tax preparation services.”

Anyone who needs a personal income tax return booklet can order it through the Department of Revenue. The booklet is available online at www.oregon.gov/dor/forms , or taxpayers can order a copy by calling (503) 378-4988 or (800) 356-4222, or by mailing their request—along with their name, phone number, and mailing address—to:
Forms
Oregon Department of Revenue
PO Box 14999
Salem, OR 97309-0990

According to a report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy, about a quarter of taxpayers who were eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit didn't claim it in past tax years. For more information about the credit and eligibility, visit the IRS website at www.eitc.irs.gov.

On the subject of tax credits: Oregon is offering a new refundable credit to low- and moderate-income families: the Working Family Household and Dependent Care (WFHDC) Credit. The new credit brings together benefits previously offered under Oregon's Working Family Child Care and Child and Dependent Care credits, and replaces both credits starting in tax year 2016. For more information on the WFHDC credit, including additional details on eligibility and supporting documentation requirements, visit www.oregon.gov/dor and look under “Popular Topics.”

Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments; or call 1 (800) 356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); (503) 378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email, questions.dor@oregon.gov. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1 (800) 886-7204.

Media contacts:
Joy Krawczyk, public information officer
joy.krawczyk@oregon.gov
(503) 945-7796

Bob Estabrook, public information officer
robert.c.estabrook@oregon.gov
(503) 945-8559

*This release was updated to correct an error regarding the number of eligible taxpayers who didn't claim the EITC in past tax years. The report puts that number at about one-quarter, not one in five as previously noted. We apologize for the error.

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Categories:
Children & Family
Economy & Jobs
Taxes
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