a site for working students

Department of Revenue  |  Oregon.gov  |  IRS.gov


Common questions

  1. I’m going away to school. How can I check on the status of my refund? Can my parent or guardian check on my refund for me?
  2. What is a standard deduction?
  3. Can my parent(s) or guardian(s) claim me as a dependent on their return?
  4. If my parent(s) or guardian(s) can claim me as a dependent, why can’t I take an exemption credit for myself?
  5. Why can’t I claim an exemption credit for myself if my parent(s) or guardian(s) don’t have to file a tax return?
  6. Why doesn’t Oregon have an education credit like the IRS?
  7. I am a student. Do I have to file and pay taxes?
  8. If I work out of state while I am away at school, do I have to report that money to Oregon and pay Oregon tax on it?
  9. Why do I owe Oregon tax when I don’t owe any federal tax?
  10. I am filing my 2004 Oregon tax return, and I owe tax this year. Why do I owe tax? What can I do differently so I won’t owe next year?
  11. I owe tax. I’m a student; I can’t pay this. What should I do?
  12. I don’t think I owe, so why should I file a return?
  13. What if I can’t use this Web site to fill out my return?
  14. What is the difference between the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?
  15. Who decides how much we have to pay in Oregon taxes?
  16. What if I still have questions about my taxes after using this Web site?

  1. I’m going away to school. How can I check on the status of my refund? Can my parent or guardian check on my refund for me?

    After March 15, you can check on the status of your tax refund yourself by calling our interactive voice response system at 1-800-356-4222 toll-free within Oregon or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside of Oregon.

    To use this system, you will need:
    • Your Social Security number; and
    • The type of Oregon form you filed (Form 40S, 40, 40N, or 40P); and
    • The exact amount of your refund.
    The interactive voice system will tell you when we are issuing your refund. Errors on your tax return can delay your refund.

    Now about your parents: Because your tax information is private, we will need your permission to speak with your parents about your return. We can discuss your tax information with anyone you name. To allow us to speak to your parents or someone else, complete an Oregon Form 150-800-005, Tax Information Authorization and Power of Attorney for Representation, and mail it to us. You may contact our Tax Services Unit at 503-378-4988 if you have questions or need help completing this form.

  2. What is a standard deduction?

    Your standard deduction is an amount that reduces your income that is taxed. Your standard deduction is based on your filing status (single, married, etc.); your age; whether you are blind; and earned income if you can be claimed as a dependent.

  3. Can my parent(s) or guardian(s) claim me as a dependent on their return?

    Ask your parent(s) or guardian(s) if they can claim you as a dependent. This means you depend on them for financial support. (There are other requirements.)

    If your parent(s) or guardian(s) don’t claim you as a dependent but can claim you, you still are their dependent. You cannot claim your own exemption credit.

  4. If my parent(s) or guardian(s) can claim me as a dependent, why can’t I take an exemption credit for myself?
    • There is only one exemption credit for each person.
    • If you are a dependent, your exemption credit belongs to your parent(s) or guardian(s). They can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.
    • Because they can claim you as a dependent on their tax return, you cannot claim your own exemption credit, even if they choose not to.
  5. Why can’t I claim an exemption credit for myself if my parent(s) or guardian(s) don’t have to file a tax return?

    If your parent(s) or guardian(s) can claim you as their dependent—even if they don’t have to file a tax return—you cannot claim your own exemption credit. Your exemption credit belongs to your parent(s) or guardian(s), even if they don’t use it.

  6. Why doesn’t Oregon have an education credit like the IRS?

    Oregon law currently does not have an education credit available like federal law has. Oregon laws are sometimes different from federal laws. You or your parent(s) may want to check out the tax advantages offered by the Oregon 529 College Savings Network. Go to www.oregon529network.com to see which plans are offered in Oregon.

  7. I am a student. Do I have to file and pay taxes?

    Being a student does not automatically exclude you from filing a tax return. It’s your income—not your status as a student—that determines if you have to pay Oregon income tax. Generally, if you have taxable income of more than $800 you need to file a tax return. Also, you will need to file a return to get a refund of any of the taxes you overpaid through withholding during the year.

  8. If I work out of state while I am away at school, do I have to report that money to Oregon and pay Oregon tax on it?
    • Yes. You still are an Oregon resident even if you go to school in another state.
    • As an Oregon resident, Oregon taxes your income from all sources (inside and outside Oregon).
    • Also, check with the state revenue department in the state where you worked. You may need to file a tax return with the other state.
    • If you have to file a return with the other state, you may be eligible for a credit for income taxes paid to another state.
  9. Why do I owe Oregon tax when I don’t owe any federal tax?

    Remember, federal tax laws and tax rates are not exactly the same as Oregon tax laws and tax rates. It is possible that you will owe tax to Oregon even if you get a refund from the federal government.

  10. I am filing my 2004 Oregon tax return, and I owe tax this year. Why do I owe tax? What can I do differently so I won’t owe next year?

    If you owe tax when you file your 2004 tax return, it is because you didn’t have enough tax taken out of your pay (withheld) during 2004 to cover all of your Oregon tax. You can increase your withholding by changing your Form W-4. See the payroll clerk where you work. He or she can help you increase your withholding.

  11. I owe tax. I’m a student; I can’t pay this. What should I do?
    • File your return on time, by April 15; and
    • Pay as much as you can with your return to reduce penalty and interest.

    We’ll process your return and send you a bill showing:

    • How much tax you still owe; and
    • A 5 percent penalty on the amount of tax you still owe; and
    • 5 percent interest on the amount of tax you still owe.

    We can work with you to set up a payment plan. When you receive the bill, immediately call the telephone number on the bill to set up your payments.

  12. I don’t think I owe, so why should I file a return?

    Even if you don’t think you have to pay tax, file a tax return if you had any Oregon income tax withheld from your wages.

    Take a look at your Form W-2(s) from your employer(s). Is there any amount in box 17 for state tax? This box shows state income tax you paid in 2004. You may have overpaid or you may have underpaid.

    If you want a refund of your overpaid Oregon tax, you need to tell us. The way you tell us is by filing an Oregon tax return. Use this Web site to help you prepare your Oregon return with the 5 Easy Steps to Cash.

    Remember, you may also need to file a federal (IRS) tax return.

  13. What if I can’t use this Web site to fill out my return?

    This site has been designed to fit the specific student profile defined on the home page. If you don't meet this profile, we still encourage you to explore this site. You may still need to fill out a tax form. You can get instructions and a form at www.oregon.gov/DOR. Be sure to select the correct form for your situation. Oregon income tax instruction booklets also are available at many libraries, banks, post offices, and Department of Revenue field offices.

    Or, you may want to file electronically. E-file is a quick and easy way to file your federal and Oregon income tax returns.

    You can search our regular Web site for more information. If you still have questions, please contact us.

  14. What is the difference between the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

    The Oregon Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service are two separate agencies.

  15. Who decides how much we have to pay in Oregon taxes?

    Through the state legislative process, the people of Oregon decide how much we all have to pay in taxes and how the money is spent. Oregonians vote for state legislators and vote on ballot measures.

  16. What if I still have questions about my taxes after using this Web site?

    You can search our regular Web site at www.oregon.gov/DOR. Or contact us:

    Telephone

    Call us at 503-378-4988 in Salem or toll-free within Oregon at 1-800-356-4222. If you have a touch-tone telephone, call our 24-hour voice response system at one of the numbers above to:

    • Hear recorded tax information.
    • Check on the status of your 2004 refund beginning February 1, 2005.
    • Order tax forms.

    Call one of the numbers above for help from a representative during the following hours:

    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:30-5:10 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.-5:10 p.m. (Closed on holidays.)
    • April 1-April 15, Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (Wait times may vary.)

    TTY (hearing or speech impaired; machine only): 503-945-8617 (Salem) or 1-800-886-7204 (toll-free within Oregon).

    Asistencia en español. Llame al 503-945-8618 en Salem o llame gratis al 1-800-356-4222 en Oregon.

    Field offices
    Forms and assistance are available at these offices. Don’t send your return to these addresses.

    • Bend 951 SW Simpson Drive, Suite 100
    • Eugene 1600 Valley River Drive, Suite 310
    • Gresham 1550 NW Eastman Parkway, Suite 220
    • Medford 24 West 6th Street
    • Newport 119 NE 4th Street, Suite 4
    • North Bend 3030 Broadway
    • Pendleton 700 SE Emigrant, Suite 310
    • Portland 800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 505
    • Portland Federal Building Lobby, 1220 SW Third Ave
    • Salem Revenue Building 955 Center Street NE, Room 135
    • Salem 4275 Commercial Street SE, Suite 180
    • Tualatin 6405 SW Rosewood Street, Suite A

Personal income tax questions and answers at
www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX.

credit

dependent

federal (IRS) tax return

filing status

Oregon income tax

refund

standard deduction

tax return

taxable income

withholding


Where Tax Dollars Go

Common Questions

Glossary

Form W-4 Information

Parent and Teacher Information

Test Scenarios for Students

Understanding Federal Taxes

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