100 Oregonians owe millions in unpaid taxes

taxBy Oregon Department of Revenue,

Oregon’s top 100 delinquent income taxpayers owe millions in unpaid taxes, and the state is testing a new way to collect that debt.

The Oregon Department of Revenue’s website now features a list of the top delinquent taxpayers for both the personal income tax and income tax withholding programs. “This is a pilot project, testing a new tool to encourage tax compliance and increase collection of delinquent taxes,” said Chris Wytoski, collections manager for the Personal Tax and Compliance Division. “More than 30 states use public posting of delinquent taxpayer information, with positive results,” Wytoski added.

Inclusion in this list isn’t the first step in the collections process. “We tried to resolve these debts with the taxpayers using other collection methods, but they haven’t paid,” Wytoski said.

Once identified as being among the top delinquent taxpayers in Oregon, taxpayers receive a warning notice and have another opportunity to resolve their debt before their information is posted online. The information posted includes the taxpayer’s name, their address, the type of delinquent tax, and the amount of the debt, as shown on the tax warrant recorded by one of Oregon’s 36 counties.

“All of the information we’re posting is pulled from recorded tax warrants and it’s public,” Wytoski said. “We want Oregon’s taxpayers to know that our use of this new collection and compliance tool doesn’t change the level to which we safeguard their personal information, nor does it authorize us to share or post other information.”

The list is generated based on the highest dollar amounts shown on active tax warrants recorded by Oregon’s 36 counties. The amounts shown online may not be the current amount owed to the state, as the recorded amount doesn’t reflect payments made or additional amounts added, such as interest.

Personal income tax is the amount each person owes to the state based on the income earned during the tax year. Taxpayers accrue personal income tax debt when they don’t pay the amount they owe when they file their taxes, or if they don’t file at all. In situations where a taxpayer doesn’t file a return, the department makes an assessment based on information provided on W-2s and 1099s filed by employers.

Income tax withholding is money withheld from employees’ paychecks to cover income tax owed by the employees. Withholding debt is accrued when the employer withholds the money from employees in trust, but doesn’t remit it to the department.

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

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