Oregon Dept. of Revenue
Emergency Messages as of 5:32 am, Thu. Nov. 23
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News Releases
Scammers targeting Oregonians with threatening calls - 11/07/17

SALEM, Oregon--The Oregon Department of Revenue has recently seen a spike in concerned taxpayers reporting fishy phone calls. The callers fraudulently identify themselves as IRS or Department of Revenue employees and threaten the taxpayer with arrest if they don't provide personal identifying information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers.

State officials say a scam like this surfaces every year. The tell-tale sign is the caller threatening arrest or other consequences, which is an attempt to goad a taxpayer into a bad decision. Revenue employees may ask a taxpayer to verify some personal information, but they won't make threats or demand personal or financial information.

"We encourage the public to protect themselves by verifying they're speaking with authorized representatives of the Department of Revenue if they have any questions about the legitimacy of the call," said Ken Ross, Revenue's manager of fraud prevention and detection.

If a caller says they're with the Department of Revenue, but something about the call doesn't seem right, taxpayers can call the department directly at (800) 356-4222 to check the validity of the call. Unfortunately, the phone number you see may tell you nothing about a call's legitimacy. Fraudsters often make their calls appear to come from a Washington, D.C. or Oregon area code, just because they think it will help their deception.

Here are a few notes to help taxpayers protect themselves and others from becoming victims of fraud:

* Collectors with the Department of Revenue will always send a letter to a taxpayer about their debt before making a phone call.
* Revenue agents never ask a taxpayer to wire money.
* Tax payments don't have to be made over the phone. Payments can also be made online or by mail. Visit www.oregon.gov/dor/payments to see payment options for each tax program.
* The Department of Revenue maintains a list of official mailing addresses for all offices in the "Contact Us" section of www.oregon.gov/dor. Revenue staff won't ask taxpayers to send information or payments to any addresses that aren't on this list.
* Report scams and fraud to:
o The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) Consumer Hotline at (877) 877-9392 or DOJ's website: www.doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection.
o The IRS at (800) 366-4484.

For information on scams and fraud happening in Oregon and more tips for protecting yourself, visit www.doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection. For nationwide information, visit www.irs.gov.

Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments; or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email, questions.dor@oregon.gov. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204.

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State matches IRS tax relief for victims of disaster situations - 11/03/17

SALEM, Oregon--The Oregon Department of Revenue continues to follow the IRS and match their tax relief provisions for taxpayers in declared disaster areas. This includes areas affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires. The tax relief postpones various Oregon tax filing and payment deadlines.

Details on the federal relief can be found at www.irs.gov/newsroom under "Tax Relief in Disaster Situations."

The beginning of the period of relief depends on when the disaster situation occurred. All affected taxpayers will have until January 31, 2018 to file returns and pay any taxes originally due during the relief period. Taxpayers who qualify include those whose principal place of business, residence, or location of tax records is in the disaster area as well as relief workers affiliated with a government or philanthropic organization assisting in relief efforts.

Affected taxpayers are eligible for an abatement of interest and penalty during this period. If you receive a billing notice from Revenue related to a late filing or a late payment caused by a disaster situation, follow the instructions in the notice to request a waiver of penalty, interest, or both.

The recent fires in Oregon didn't result in a disaster declaration from the federal government. However, Oregon provides relief when an event impedes a taxpayer's ability to comply with tax deadlines. Late-filing and payment penalties may be waived on a case by case basis for such situations.

You can visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get forms, check the status of your refund, or make payments. You can call (503) 378-4988 or (800) 356-4222 (toll-free) or email questions.dor@oregon.gov for additional assistance. For TTY for hearing or speech impaired, call (800) 886-7204.

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