As Corporate Activity Tax Begins January 1, Department of Revenue Offers Resources

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With the January 1, 2020 start date for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT), the Department of Revenue (DOR) wants to remind business taxpayers of the resources available to help them learn about, and comply with, the new tax law.

“Opening CAT registration in December is one of the many agency efforts to minimize the risk of taxpayer noncompliance,” said Nia Ray, director of the Department of Revenue. “We encourage feedback and questions to ensure the taxpaying community gets the information they need.”

Several resources are available for business taxpayers and tax preparers on the CAT page of the Department of Revenue website at oregon.gov/dor, including:

  • A link to register through Revenue Online.
  • A list of frequently asked questions, including high-level summaries of the rules and other topics that will help taxpayers comply with the new law.
  • Drafts of the first 12 administrative rules.
  • A sign-up form to receive the latest updates on the CAT.

For other information, email questions to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov or call 503-945-8005.

What is the CAT?

The Oregon Legislature created the Corporate Activity Tax in House Bills 3427 and 2164 during the 2019 session to provide new funding for early learning and K-12 education.

The CAT is imposed on businesses for the privilege of doing business in Oregon, including those located inside and outside of Oregon. It’s measured on a business’s commercial activity — the total amount a business realizes from activity in Oregon.

Businesses with taxable commercial activity in excess of $1 million must pay the Corporate Activity Tax. The tax is $250 plus 0.57 percent of gross receipts greater than $1 million after subtractions.

The CAT applies to all business entity types, such as C and S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships and other entities. Businesses with more than $750,000 in Oregon commercial activity are required to register for the CAT.

Registration

The new law requires registration within 30 days of meeting the threshold of $750,000 in Oregon commercial activity. A penalty of $100 per month may be assessed for failing to register, up to $1,000 per calendar year. Businesses that wish to do so can register early.

Registration for the CAT opened earlier this month on Revenue Online. Taxpayers don’t need a Revenue Online account to register for the CAT. Those who have Revenue Online accounts can’t be logged in to register for the CAT. Instead, they should go directly to the CAT webpage and click on the “Register For CAT” link on the right-hand side of the page.

Administrative rules

DOR is currently in the process of writing temporary administrative rules to provide guidance and clarity regarding the new tax. The rules have been divided into three groups according to priority. The highest priority group will be filed with the Secretary of State in January, with the other two groups following in February and March. As drafts of the rules are completed, DOR will post them on the CAT webpage. Draft versions of the first 12 temporary rules are now available.

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

oregon.gov

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