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Registration for Oregon CAT Tax is Now Available

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Businesses and individuals can now register online for Oregon’s Commercial Activity Tax (CAT), which goes into effect January 1, 2020. Registration is required when Oregon commercial activity exceeds $750,000 and must be done within 30 days of meeting that threshold to avoid penalties. Oregon commercial activity includes most business receipts from activity in Oregon, but there are some exceptions for sales of groceries, motor vehicle fuel and certain businesses such as hospitals, farmer’s co-ops and non-profits. Wages received as an employee are excluded. Sales of products or services delivered outside Oregon are not included in determining the registration threshold.

When determining if they meet the registration threshold, businesses need to consider their total Oregon gross receipts from all unitary entities operating in Oregon. For example, if a restaurant group has several legal entities which each operate separate locations under the same brand and management, the receipts of each Oregon location should be combined to determine if the threshold is met.

To register, individuals doing business in Oregon will need their name, and their social security number or individual taxpayer identification number. Businesses will need their legal name and federal employer identification number.

Businesses and individuals will need:

  • Their mailing address;
  • The date they exceeded or expect to exceed $750,000 in Oregon commercial activity
  • A valid email address or current Revenue Online login, and;
  • Their Business Activity Code (Refer to the current list of North American Industry Classification System codes found with their federal income tax return instructions).

Businesses that are required to register may not owe any tax, so there does not appear to be a downside to registering if the business expects to meet these thresholds. However, penalties up to $1,000 apply for failure to register. Only businesses or unitary groups with Oregon commercial activity of $1 million or more are required to file a CAT return. See our previous blast for details. The first CAT return will be due April 15, 2021, however quarterly estimated payments may apply in 2020.  

For more information on registration requirements, contact your Berntson Porter representative at 425-454-7990. We’re here to help!