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Friday, April 17, 2020  
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Submitted by Robin Maxey   Public Information Officer Oregon Department of Revenue


First Quarter Corporate Activity Tax payments due April 30; Good faith effort will prevent underpayment penalties

Dear Corporate Activity Tax stakeholder:

First quarter 2020 estimated payments for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax are due by April 30. Taxpayers expecting more than $5,000 of Corporate Activity Tax liability for the calendar year must make estimated payments.

The department understands that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact commercial activity, up or down, to an extent that makes it difficult for businesses to estimate their first payment. The department will not assess underpayment penalties to taxpayers making a good faith effort to estimate their first quarter payments for the CAT.

Taxpayers may demonstrate good faith effort by using the best information available to them at the time to estimate their payment. Taxpayers should document and retain the information they used to estimate their commercial activity as well as documentation used to show how they calculated their estimated payments. Taxpayers will not be required to submit this information to the department when they file their return or make estimated payments, but should keep the information in their records.

Guidance about making CAT quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the Department of Revenue website. Information available by following the Beyond the FAQ link includes answers to the questions:

  • How to calculate CAT liability?
  • When are estimated payments required?
  • How do I pay my estimated taxes?

The CAT page also includes links to a video of the presentation made by CAT policy staff during the March CAT update tour, which was cut short by concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used during the tour. Guidance and examples of how to calculate CAT liability can be found in slides 30–38.

Additionally, taxpayers can access a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation on “How to make a CAT payment” and links to register and make payments for the CAT through Revenue Online.

The CAT webpage also includes a link to the administrative rules for the CAT.

The 2019 Legislature created the CAT to boost funding for public schools. 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% 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.

Taxpayers can email questions about the CAT to or call 503-945-8005.

Thank you.

Corporate Activity Tax Policy Team
Oregon Department of Revenue

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