Businesses can skip penalty if withholding payment application in by Dec.31

Businesses won’t be penalized if they submit withholding payment application by December 31
By Oregon Department of Revenue,

SALEM—If you’re one of 60,000 Oregon businesses that recently filed an electronic funds transfer (EFT) application with the Oregon Department of Revenue, not to worry: you won’t be penalized if your application isn’t processed by December 31.  EFT allows businesses to transfer their quarterly withholding tax electronically to the department and to the IRS instead of mailing checks. In Oregon, 40-50 percent of businesses still pay by check.

Why the fuss now? The IRS recently changed its EFT requirements. Businesses with more than $2,500 in withholding tax each quarter must now pay it electronically. Oregon will require those businesses to electronically pay state withholding starting January 1, 2011.

Businesses are scrambling to get their applications in so they can meet the requirement and avoid penalties.

Businesses that have applied for the state’s EFT program but haven’t received a confirmation letter by January 1 may keep mailing their payments using Oregon’s payment coupon-without penalty-until they receive their letter.

“Normally, we process an EFT application in a few days. We’ve received so many in such a short period of time, we’re looking at four to five weeks,” said Warren Naillon, Revenue’s EFT coordinator. But, he said, they’re working to reduce the processing time.

Naillon said there are nearly 130,000 employers in Oregon and all but about 500 are affected by the new requirement.

“Fifty to 60 percent of businesses were already using EFT,” he said.

You can download tax forms and instructions, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments on our website; or call call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon (due to the amount of calls we get during tax season, you may experience extended waiting times); or e-mail us. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204.

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