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Collections process when owing tax

Tax collection process

If you don't pay your taxes, set up a payment plan, or make the payments you agreed to, we will take action to collect the money you owe. This action may include:

  • Applying your federal or state tax refunds to your balance.
  • Filing a tax lien against your real property in the county lien record. A tax lien is the public notice of debt that attaches to your real property and your rights to the property.
  • Filing a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) lien with the Oregon Secretary of State. A UCC lien may be attached to business assets enabling us to seize property to recoup balances owed to the state.
  • Garnishing your wages, bank account, or other contractual payments. Certain income, such as Social Security or disability payments, are protected from garnishment.
  • Seizing and selling your real or personal property (e.g., recreational vehicles, boats, motorcycles) you own or have interest in. We won't seize your primary residence.
  • Professional license suspension, safe deposit boxes seizure, and seizure of money from cash registers.
  • Publicly posting your name and other information online if you owe over $50,000 in delinquent tax debt to the department. For more information on this program visit our Delinquent Taxpayer List page. The published list can be accessed on Revenue Online under Tools

If we contact you, it's important that you respond promptly. If you don't respond, we may take additional collection action, as required by law.

Interest and penalties

Penalties and interest are charged for not paying your tax by the due date and/or for filing your tax return late. You have the right to ask us to waive certain penalties. Contact us for more information.


If you owe a balance and it is past due, you will receive the following series of letters from us throughout the collections process. If you have a department approved payment plan, review the notice and save for your records.

  • Notice of Assessment: We send you this letter if you have unpaid taxes after the due date of payment.
  • Notice and Demand for Payment: This is the second request for full payment of taxes owed.
  • Distraint Warrant: This is not a warrant for your arrest. Rather, it's a legal document that establishes our right to collect the tax debt from you.
  • State Tax Lien: This is a distraint warrant recorded in the county clerk lien records. The notice will show the county in which it has been recorded. This has the same attributes and effect of a judgment.
  • Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund and Other Federal Payments: If you have tax debt, your federal tax refund may be sent to us to apply towards your debt owed. This letter comes certified through the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Payments to an Oregon Debt: If you owe tax debt, certain non-tax federal payments may be sent to us to apply towards your debt owed. Some federal payments, such as Social Security, are protected from offset and won’t be sent to us.
  • Statement of Account: This is a summary of all your accounts and balances owed. You will receive this periodically.

Payment options

Pay your taxes in full on Revenue Online, over the phone, through the mail, or in person. Cash is not accepted at any of the department’s field offices. Cash payments are accepted at the main building at 955 Center Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301.

If you can’t afford to pay your taxes in full, you may set up a payment plan.

If you can't afford to pay your taxes

Individuals who can't pay their taxes in full or set up a payment plan may qualify for one of our programs:

  • Suspended Collections Status: This program stops the collections action on your tax debt, such as bank or wage garnishments for up to one year. Find out if you qualify for suspended collections status.
  • Temporary Uncollectible Status: This program is for those who can't pay right now but will be able to in the near future. Get information about temporary uncollectible status.

If you owe business tax, contact us about your options.

Settlement offers

You may be eligible for a settlement offer. You'll need to provide detailed financial information to us for an evaluation. You must also make a nonrefundable, good faith payment of 5 percent of your offer to be considered. Read more about settlement offers.

Power of attorney vs. third-party access to my information

The Tax Information Authorization and Power of Attorney for Representation form allows another person to make decisions regarding your tax account or allows us to share information about your account. The level of access is dependent on what you authorize on the form. We can't discuss your account with anyone other than you without this authorization.

Third-party access is available for your Revenue Online account. This feature allows you to grant access to another person so that they can view your account or act on your behalf via Revenue Online. Third-party access is not the same as having Tax Information Authorization and Power of Attorney for Representation. An individual or business can have third-party access over another individual or business but not have a Tax Information Authorization and Power of Attorney on file.

Your rights

As an Oregon taxpayer, you have rights throughout the collection process. See Your Rights as an Oregon Taxpayer for more information.

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