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Be Aware: The CAT Is on the Prowl – the Oregon Department of Revenue’s Town Hall Meetings Begin Tonight

CATWe have recently discussed in several blog posts Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (“CAT”), a gross receipts tax that will become effective January 1, 2020. As we announced in our most recent post on this topic, the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) will soon commence the rule drafting process. In order to obtain input from taxpayers and tax advisors, it will hold town hall meetings around the state.

Yesterday, the Department announced the schedule of these meetings. Surprisingly, the first meeting is scheduled for tonight in Newport, and meetings will take place later this week in Corvallis and Beaverton. Additional meetings throughout the state will occur over the next few weeks. The meeting in Portland will take place at the Portland State Office Building in the Lloyd District on Thursday, October 3, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

According to a news release issued yesterday, the following issues are expected to be discussed at the town hall meetings:

    • Who must register for the CAT;
    • When and how businesses register;
    • Who must file and who must pay the tax;
    • Annual returns based on calendar year activity;
    • How commercial activity is defined;
    • Exemptions for charitable organizations;
    • Exclusions for groceries, subcontractors, wholesalers and others;
    • What counts toward the 35% subtraction;
    • How estimated payments will be calculated; and
    • When estimated payments will be due.

Town hallWe encourage taxpayers and tax advisors to attend and actively participate in the meetings conducted in their geographic area. Providing input will hopefully help ensure the rules are well thought out and comprehensive. Likewise, obtaining feedback from the Department will help us understand how it intends to apply the CAT.

We will keep you posted as we learn more about the CAT and the Department’s administrative rule making. Stay tuned!

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Larry J. Brant
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Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder in Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant practices in the Portland office. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.

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