Businesses

​​​Frequently asked questions​​​

Basic information on the Corporate Activity Tax

The new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) is imposed on businesses for the privilege of doing business in this state. The CAT is not a transactional tax, such as a retail sales tax, or an income tax. Oregon’s CAT is measured on a business’s commercial activity–the total amount a business realizes from transactions and activity in Oregon. Certain items are excluded from the definition of commercial activity and, therefore, will not be subject to the CAT. In addition, Oregon’s CAT allows a 35% subtraction for certain business expenses.

The CAT is applied to Oregon taxable commercial activity in excess of $1 million. The tax is computed as $250 plus 0.57% of Oregon commercial activity of more than $1 million. Only taxpayers with more than $1 million of taxable Oregon commercial activity will have a payment obligation.

The Department of Revenue has begun developing administrative rules for the new CAT program. We encourage all stakeholders to provide feedback. Please send any comments to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov.

If you would like to receive updates on the CAT, please subscribe to our mailing list using the form on this webpage.

The CAT is applicable to tax years beginning January 1, 2020. The CAT is an annual calendar year tax. Businesses that use an alternate fiscal year must still file and pay based on the calendar year.

Commercial activity is the total amount realized by a company from the transactions and activity in the regular course of their business in Oregon, without deduction for expenses incurred by the business​. Commercial activity is realized according to the method of accounting used for federal income tax purposes.

While commercial activity includes most business receipts, receipts from certain items are excluded and are not subject to the CAT. For example, the following items are excluded:

  • Receipts from the sale of motor vehicle fuel.
  • Receipts from the wholesale and retail sales of groceries.
  • Sales of items or services that are delivered outside of Oregon.
  • Receipts from a farmer’s sales to an agricultural cooperative described in Section 1381 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Property, money, or other amounts received by an agent on behalf of another in excess of the agent’s fee or commission.
  • Receipts from transactions between members of the same unitary group.
  • Distributive income received from a pass-through entity.

These are only a few of the items not subject to CAT. The CAT legislation has a list of items that are excluded. See Section 50 of HB 2164 (2019).

​Any business, or unitary group of businesses, doing business in Oregon may have responsibilities under the CAT. This includes all business entity types, such as C and S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and other entities.

The CAT sets four thresholds to determine whether a business or unitary group has CAT responsibilities. These thresholds are based on the amount of commercial activity the business or unitary group earns in Oregon over the course of the year.

​Threshold ​Amount ​Explanation
Excluded–No Requirement​ $750,000​ or less
​Business or unitary group with $750,000 or less of Oregon commercial activity is excluded from all CAT requirements.
​​Registration Threshold $750,000+​ ​Business or unitary group with Oregon commercial activity in excess of $750,000 must register for the CAT.
Filing Threshold $1 million​+
​Business or unitary group with Oregon commercial activity in excess of $1 million must file a return.
Tax Payment Threshold​ ​More than $1 million Business or unitary group with taxable Oregon commercial activity in excess of $1 million must file a return and pay tax.​

If you are unsure whether your business is part of a unitary group, please see our Unitary Group FAQ.

The CAT legislation excludes certain types of business entities from any CAT liability, unless such business has unrelated business taxable income under federal law. Exempted entities include but are not limited to:

​The CAT is an annual calendar year tax. CAT returns are due each year on April 15. Generally, estimated payments are due April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31 for the preceding quarter.

​ ​ ​Important Filing Dates
Filing or Payment Requirement​ ​Period Dates Due Date
1st Quarter Estimated Payment​ January – March ​ April 30
2nd Quarter Estimated Payment​ April – June​ July 31
​3rd Quarter Estimated Payment ​July – September October 31
​4th Quarter Estimated Payment ​October – December January 31
Annual Return ​ January – December ​ April 15

Registration is due within 30 days of meeting the $750,000 registration threshold. A penalty of $100 per month may be assessed for failing to register, up to $1,000 per calendar year. 

​You must use the same accounting method you use for your federal income tax return.

Visit our website at https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/. Click on the "Business" link, then the "Corporate Activity Tax" in the "Information" column on the next page. We have a mailing list registration for future updates. Also, you can email your questions to Cat.help.dor@oregon.gov.

​To read ​high-level summaries of the rules and topics to help with taxpayer compliance, visit Beyond the FAQ​.​