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Tax - Employer Responsibilities

​Contact: Unemployment Insurance Programs & Methods | Phone: 503-947-1685
875 Union St. NE | Salem, OR 97311 | Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM  - 5:00 PM
TTY: 7-1-1 | Internet Relay: Sprint Relay


Registration


As an employer, you'll need to register with the Oregon Employment Department. Once you are registered and if you have employees, you will be directed to the Department of Revenue to apply for a Business Ide​​​ntification Number (BIN)

You can register quickly and securely on the Department of Revenue, Revenue Online site. Register online for a BIN using Revenue Online or by submitting a Combined Employer's Registration​ form. You must register before issuing any paychecks. ​

​If you are a subject employer, you'll also need to post the notice concerning Unemployment Insurance (Form 11) where your employees can read it. We will mail you this form. We can provide this form in English and Spanish.

Status Changes


You must notify the Oregon Employment Department and the Oregon Department of Revenue when changes are made in the organization, or the status of your business. The following are examples of changes that you need to report on the Business Change in Status (Form 013):
  • Sale or lease of business
  • Dissolution of a partnership
  • Formation of a new partnership
  • Dissolution of a corporation
  • Formation of a new corporation
  • Death of an owner or partner
  • Any other changes in the legal standing of a business
If the address of your business changes, you will need to notify us on the Business Contact Change Form so we can update your mailing information to receive important information regarding taxes, Unemployment Insurance, hearings etc. 

Forms for status or contact changes are located on the Tax Forms & Fliers page.​

Payroll Records

You are expected to keep adequate payroll records as an employer or third party administrator. This includes:
  • Social Security numbers for each employee
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. for all employees, and
  • Payroll records of when and how much each employee has been paid

Taxes

You are expected to pay taxes or reimbursements when they are due.

Filing Reports

You are expected to file required quarterly reports or annual tax forms on time with complete information.

Employers are required to file an Oregon Quarterly Tax Report (Form OQ) each calendar quarter.

Domestic employers may choose to file annually using Oregon Annual Tax Report (Form OA).

​​What is SIDES?​

SIDES, or the State Information Data Exchange System, provides employers and third party administrators a secure, electronic and nationally-standardized format to respond to Unemployment Insurance information requests.​

What are the benefits of SIDES E-Response?

  • Free of charge: This system is offered free of charge to Employers or TPAs
  • Reduces administrative costs: This system reduces the volume of time-consuming follow-up phone calls, unnecessary appeals, postage costs, paperwork and staff resources
  • Secure: This system has multiple layers of security to protect the sensitive data exchanged between the Oregon Employment Department and employers or TPAs
  • Ensures accurate information exchanges: This system ensures that complete information is provided through standard edits, validations and business rules
  • Saves time: This system is electronic so it eliminates the delays related to paper mail delivery, reduces paper handling and ensures information requests are fully completed

How does SIDES help employers?

If you are an employer with few UI claims throughout the year, the SIDES E-Response website gives you an easy portal to electronically submit responses to information requests from state agencies. E-Response is available to any employer or third-party administrator with Internet access.

For employers and third-party administrators that deal with a large amount of Unemployment Insurance information requests, SIDES provides a more automated data-sharing and file-track interface between employers' IT systems and state agency networks. SIDES is especially helpful for those who operate in multiple states.

SIDES and SIDES E-Response have the potential to significantly improve the exchange process, and saves time and money by:

  • Eliminating delays related to paper mail delivery, and allowing more time to gather information and respond;
  • Ensuring more complete information is collected, reducing follow-up phone calls;
  • Reducing paper handling, staff time and postage costs; and
  • Keeping Unemployment Insurance payroll taxes lower by reducing improper payments​

Signing into the system

  • Visit https://uisides.org.
  • Select "Oregon" as the state.
  • Enter your Federal ID number (FEIN) without dashes.
  • Enter your State ID (BIN) with the dash.
  • Enter your E-Response PIN as a capital "A" followed by zeros and the number.
Examples:
Federal ID: 930000000
State ID: 1111111-1.
PIN: A000001234
  • Your E-Response PIN will be displayed in the upper right corner of the Notice of Claim Filed.
  • If the E-Response field is blank, the claim was set up with incomplete information and you will not be able to respond electronically to that notice. Please respond via mail or fax.

Completing an E-Response

  • ​​Once you've signed in, you'll find a list of all Unemployment Insurance claims needing response from your company.
    • Select "Create Response" for the claim you wish to respond to.
  • A red asterisk (*) indicates a required response.
    • To save time, complete only items marked with a red asterick.

Page by page response

  • Page 1: Claimant and Employer Identification
    • Required information:
      • Preparers information
  • Page 2: Additional Claimant Information Request
    • No required information on this page
  • Page 3: Employment Information
    • Most often will not contain required information
    • If there is a red asterick by any of the hours questions, you are limited to a two digit number. If the number is in excess of 99, enter 99. We will contact you if we need clarification.
  • Page 4: Reason for Separation
    • Required information:
      • Employer's reason for claimant's separation. Please select the most applicable response. Additional information can be provided later in the process.
  • Page 5: Additional Separation Information
    • No required information
    • Later pages will ask specific questions about the separation type.
  • Page 6: Compensation after separation
    • No required information
      • In Oregon, payout of final paycheck or accrued leave time do not neet to be reported.
      • BE AWARE: If you begin to enter compensation information into the table and later change your mind, you'll need to delete each row from the table in order to complete the form.
  • Remaining Pages: Specific Separation Information & Attachments
    • The more information you provide on these pages, the more likely a representative of the department may be able to issue a decision without contacting the employer or third-party administrator again.
    • BE AWARE: If you begin to provide information and later change your mind, you'll need to delete each row from the table in order to complete the form.
    • Attachments
      • This is the best area to include copies of applicable policy documents, warnings, resignation letters, or other pertinent separation documents. 
      • You may submit up to 10 attachments, but the maximum size of ALL attachments cannot exceed 5MB.
  • Final Page: Submission
    • This page will highlight any errors that need correction. Click on the highlighted error to be redirected to that page. If the error has occurred on a table, remember you must delete the rows from the table.
    • You will not be able to "Submit to State" until all the errors are corrected.

Notice of Claim Determination (Form 197)

The Employment Department is required by law to notify all employers that are potentially affected by an Unemployment Insurance claim that has been filed and the potential charges. ​​If you have more questions, click here​.

Notice of Claim Filed (Form 220)

​What is it?

When a person files an initial claim or restarts an existing claim, the most recent employer receives a Notice of Claim Filed.

If a claimant did not work and earn four times the weekly benefit amount from his or her last employer, we will also mail a Form 220 to the next-to-last employer.

When you receive the Form 220:

Mail or fax the completed form to the Oregon Employment Department within ten days after the date we mailed the form. This protects your appeal rights.

OR

Complete the separation information request online at: https://uisides.org

Why should I respond?

Our adjudicators investigate separation and eligibility issues. We rely on you, the employer, for much of our information. Your timely response to this notice entitles you to a decision you can appeal if an issue exists that may affect the person's eligibility for benefits. If a claimant stopped working for you for any reason other than lack of work, provide details of the separation in the space provided and use the back if necessary. Please be sure your information is correct and true. Willful false statements can result in additional charges against your account.

Your response is very important. The facts surrounding an employee's separation can directly affect your tax rate because we decide to pay or deny benefits based, in part, on this information. Without your response, we must make a decision based on available information. Decisions to allow benefits affect all base year employers. Benefit charges may affect tax rates or contributions as a result of a person's most recent separation.​


SIDES Email Notice Sign Up

The Oregon Employment Department is now offering employers the option to sign up receive Email Notice of Claim Filed (Form 220). To sign up or learn more about email notifications, please visit:

 
When you sign up you will need:
  • Your Business Identification Number (BIN). This is the number used to make your quarterly reports to the Employment Department. It is not your business registry number. Example: 12345678-1
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Example: 121234567, and 
  • Your E-Response Personal Identification Number (PIN). This number can be found on the first page of your Notice of Claim Filed (Form 220). Example: A012345678
  • You will be able to enter up to three (3) email addresses for your business when you complete registration. 

If you are unable to sign up online, please send an email to Oregon.SIDEShelp@oregon.gov and we will mail a paper form for you to complete and return.

Please note: You are not required to sign up for email notifications in order to use the SIDES E-Response system.
 
Employers currently receive a paper Notice of Claim Filed (Form 220) by U.S. Postal mail when an individual files an Unemployment Insurance claim listing them as the last employer. At this time, employers can respond to these notices by fax, U.S. Postal mail, or SIDES E-Response at:


Tax Law and Rules


UI Tax Law | UI Tax Rules

Payments, Reports, Penalties & Interest


Payments
​​
Payroll tax payments are due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

Unemployment tax payments only for annual domestic employers are due January 31 of each year.

Employers required to deposit state withholding once each month or more may also include a payment for unemployment insurance tax.

Employers receive billing statements reflecting their balance with the Oregon Employment Department each month. Additionally, we may send you specific notices or other communications if you have an outstanding balance due to unpaid unemployment insurance taxes.

  • To pay your balance in full, log in to your Frances Online account, select “Pay Outstanding Balance,", then follow the payment links.
  • To submit a request for a payment plan, log in to your Frances Online account, select the “I want to" tab, select the payment plan application, and follow the links.
  • If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from paying your balance in full or setting up a payment plan, please call 503-947-1710 or 800-553-5396 (toll free).
  • If you want to mail your payment, please include the Statement of Account payment voucher we sent you and mail your payment to:
Attn: Contributions and Recovery
Oregon Employment Department
PO Box 4395
Portland, OR 97208

If you have questions regarding a message you receive from the Employment Department because of unpaid unemployment insurance taxes, please contact Contributions and Recovery at OED_CONTRIBUTIONS_UNIT@employ.oregon.gov or call 503-947-1488 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.”


Reports

Reports are due the same day as payments. Domestic employer reports are due quarterly or annually each year on January 31.

A penalty may be assessed for any reports received after the due date. The amount of the penalty may change from year to year.


Penalties

A penalty may be assessed for any reports received after the due date. The amount of the penalty may change from year to year.
 
10 percent penalty may be assessed if you fail to pay tax assessed (Notice of Tax Assessment, Written Demand Notice, or a Notice of Estimated Tax Assessment) within the time prescribed. Compliance with an approved payment plan will help you avoid the assessment of a penalty.


Interest

Interest on payments after the due date is 1.5 percent per month on unpaid taxes. Interest is not calculated on accrued interest, penalties or legal costs - only on tax due. Interest is assessed if the payment is even one day late.
 
If all money owed or reports required are not received by the Employment Department prior to September 1, of each year, an additional penalty of 1 percent of the previous year’s taxable payroll will be assessed.
 
Funds received from an employer apply first to legal costs (including the service of warrants incurred in collecting the debt), then to penalties assessed, then to interest assessed, and lastly to unpaid tax assessed.


Recovery Efforts

​In certain circumstances, the Employment Department may take actions to recover overdue unemployment insurance tax payments when employers do not pay them. Recovery efforts for overdue balances can include setting up payment plans, sending letters, making calls, garnishing bank accounts, placing liens, intercepting tax refunds (both state and federal), and sending the account to the Oregon Department of Revenue or a third party collection agency. It is important to pay your employer contributions on time in order to avoid facing interest, penalties, and involuntary collections actions. ​

What is a rate manipulation?

Rate manipulation is a tax evasion scheme where an employer manipulates their Unemployment Insurance (UI) payroll tax rate to achieve a lower rate, and thereby pay less taxes.

Typically, rate manipulation occurs when a business transfers payroll out of an existing company or organization to a new or different organization solely or primarily to reduce payroll taxes. 


What is the harm in rate manipulation?

Rate manipulation hurts employers and harms the state’s Unemployment Insurane Trust Fund.
  • Rate manipulation goes against the experience-rated tax system that is widely supported by the business community. The Unemployment Insurance payroll tax rate is based on an employer’s history of benefit charges. With rate manipulation, an employer with a high payroll tax rate attempts to hide behind a different company with a lower tax rate and dump their payroll costs on all other employers.
  • Rate manipulation creates a competitive cost advantage for employers practicing this type of tax evasion.
  • Rate manipulation reduces money in Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, causing an increase in tax rates for all employers.
  • Rate manipulation has already affected Oregon employers by reducing the tax dollars going into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
  • Rate manipulation reduces funds available to pay Unemployment Insurance benefits to unemployed workers.
  • Rate manipulation puts employers who try to manage their work and maintain steady employment for their employees at a disadvantage.
  • Rate manipulation rewards employers for dumping their tax responsibility on the rest of employers.

How is rate manipulation done?

The three most common ways (with many variations) include:
  • Vertical method – Create a “new” employer that is assigned a “new” employer tax rate of 3.3% (2011) and transfer payroll to the new employer.
  • Horizontal method – Transfer payroll to a subsidiary with a lower payroll tax rate.
  • Acquired rate method – Find another employer with a low payroll tax rate and arrange to transfer payroll to that employer.
We've discovered all types of businesses, across all industries, participating in rate manipulation schemes – for profit and nonprofit employers, small and large businesses.

Some employers don't realize they are participating in a rate manipulation scheme, but are simply following the advice of a business consultant or accountant. In fact, most employers become involved in rate manipulation at the suggestion of a consultant or accountant.


What is the penalty for rate manipulation

Under ORS 657.480, a person (employer) may not engage in or advise another person (employer) to engage in activity to transfer or acquire, or attempt to transfer or acquire, a trade or business or any portion of a trade or business solely or primarily for the purpose of obtaining a lower unemployment insurance (UI) tax rate.

If a person (employer) knowingly engages in such activity, the highest UI tax rate (currently 5.4%) will be assigned to that trade or business for the tax year in which the activity occurred and for the next three years. However, if the person (employer) is already subject to the highest tax rate for the year or if the amount of increase in the tax rate is less than 2%, an additional penalty tax rate of 2% will be added to the calculated tax rate.

In addition, if a person (employer) advises another person (employer) to engage in this activity, they may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000. Criminal penalties for engaging in tax avoidance schemes may also be imposed.


Why should I voluntarily come forward?

We are already actively reviewing employer accounts looking for potential rate manipulation cases, and we aggressively build cases that may result in civil, administrative, and, in some cases, criminal penalties.


What should I do if I think rate manipulation is taking place with another employer?

Please contact us. You will be asked to provide some basic information regarding the situation. All information provided will be kept confidential.


Do you really know who is manipulating rates?

We have developed several methods to uncover this type of tax avoidance. Additionally, we use an automated detection software package that was specifically developed to identify rate manipulation cases.