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Corporate Activity Tax registrations top 10,000

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With registration totals for the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) surpassing 10,000, the Oregon Department of Revenue on Wednesday reminded businesses that they are required to register for the CAT within 30 days of reaching $750,000 in Oregon commercial activity for the year.

During the 2019 session, the Legislative Revenue Office estimated approximately 40,000 businesses would have to pay taxes under the CAT, which went into effect Jan. 1. Registration opened in early December 2019. First-quarter estimated payments for the CAT are due April 30.

Many businesses have called for a delay because of stay at home orders. Coordinator for Evergreen Central Oregon PAC Garrett Mosher said, "We've obviously had serious economic downturn here in the middle of the crisis of COVID 19. Small businesses have been largely shutdown or at least mostly shut down. People have been laid off. It's a hard time for them and they unfortunately can't afford to pay a corporate activities tax that taxes on gross receipts not even on profits." 

Registration resources
A short CAT registration training document is available on the CAT page of the Revenue website.

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 entity’s 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.)

Taxpayers don’t need a Revenue Online account to register for the CAT. Those who have Revenue Online accounts can’t be logged in to register for the CAT. Instead, they should go directly to the CAT webpage and click on the “Register for the CAT” link on the right-hand side of the page.

First quarter payments
First quarter 2020 estimated payments for the CAT are due by April 30. Taxpayers expecting to owe more than $5,000 of Corporate Activity Tax 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 quarterly payments.

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.

Taxpayers can find guidance about making CAT quarterly payments on the CAT page of the Department of Revenue website. The information now includes a link to a worksheet for approximating CAT liability and estimated payments. The page also includes links to a video of the presentation made by CAT policy staff during the March CAT update tour, and a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used during the tour.

More questions and answers
The Corporate Activity Tax policy staff recently met via conference call with a group of large out of state and multi-state business taxpayers. A link to the summary of the questions and answers from the conference call meeting has been added to the CAT page of the department’s website.

Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT via email to or call 503-945-8005.

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

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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