The Oregon Department of Revenue will begin processing state tax returns on Jan. 27, the same day the Internal Revenue Service begins processing federal returns.
Taxpayers can submit their returns earlier, but processing won’t start until the tax season officially begins.
Once processing begins, returns will be processed in the order received. However, the Oregon Department of Revenue won’t be issuing personal income tax refunds until after Feb. 15.
State officials said this refund hold is part of the state’s tax fraud prevention effort and will allow confirmation that the amounts claimed on returns match what employers report on their forms W-2 and 1099.
The IRS also is holding federal tax refunds until after Feb. 15 - but only for those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Officials said that federal changes spawned by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act directly impact Oregon’s personal income tax, including changes to calculating withholding allowances for tax year 2019. The department encourages taxpayers to use its online withholding calculator to check their state withholding, so they can make any necessary changes to 2020 withholding.
Also, because of these federal tax changes, Oregon now has its own W-4, called Form OR-W-4. Taxpayers can request the new form from their employer or download it at www.oregon.gov/dor, fill it out and return it to their employer.
Beginning Jan. 1, any changes to a taxpayer’s state withholding must be made using Form OR-W-4, because Oregon withholding is calculated using allowances, unlike the federal form.
Here are a few other things offered by state officials for taxpayers to keep in mind:
• E-filing is the fastest way to get a tax refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive the refund sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks.
• Some software companies offer free software use and e-filing for eligible taxpayers. Be sure to access the software through the department’s website, or the company may not allow you to take advantage of the free offer.
• AARP and CASH Oregon provide free or low-cost tax preparation services.
• All Oregon taxpayers preparing their own return can file electronically, at no cost, using Oregon’s free fillable forms.
• Taxpayers can order copies of past returns, letters or other correspondence - from 2015 to current - through their Revenue Online account. They can also order and pay for these, or older documents, over the phone at 800-356-4222.