In anticipation of the 2023 tax season early next year, Oregon’s Taxpayer Advocate and the Department of Revenue have launched a new effort to remind Oregon taxpayers of their rights under the law.
Those efforts include a dedicated webpage and a new video on the agency’s YouTube channel promoting it.
The Oregon Legislature created the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in state law more than 30 years ago, but many taxpayers just don’t know what their rights are, said Codi Trudell, who was appointed the state’s first Taxpayer Advocate in January.
“Taxpayer rights are a key foundation to a successful voluntary compliant tax system,” Trudell said. “If taxpayers don’t know their rights, how can they claim them?”
While the rights themselves have not changed, taxpayers can now visit the new webpage and access a new, easier to understand version of the document Your Rights as an Oregon Taxpayer, 150-800-406.
“At the Department of Revenue, we are working to create an environment that builds trust and assures taxpayers they are treated fairly and well,” she said. “If taxpayers understand and know they have rights when working with the department, they can avail themselves of those rights when they need them and feel like they are being respected for voluntarily complying with the tax laws.”
The new webpage has been translated into multiple languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian. Visitors to the site will find they can access these translated materials by clicking on links. This is in addition to the translation features available for all DOR webpages.
Taxpayers will also find resources on how to appeal and how to contact the agency for assistance should they have questions on any of these rights.
In addition to the website, the agency has begun a social media campaign highlighting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Helping taxpayers understand their rights and put those rights into practice navigating the tax system is part of the purpose of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which was created by the Legislature in 2021.
The taxpayer advocate is an independent office that enhances the department’s services to taxpayers. It provides both a voice and resource for taxpayers.
“As Oregon’s Taxpayer Advocate, my hope is that with this new approach both department staff and Oregon taxpayers will grow more familiar with and better understand taxpayer rights and agency responsibilities through this new approach,” Trudell said.