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Remember To Claim Your Kicker

SALEM — Tax return filing season is open and the Oregon Department of Revenue wants to remind you to claim your tax surplus credit, or “kicker,” on your 2015 personal income tax returns.

The credit is how the state is returning a more than $402 million tax surplus to eligible Oregon taxpayers. There won’t be any kicker checks issued as there have been in the past.

The Department of Revenue launched What’s My Kicker, a new online tool that calculates your credit amount based on information from the 2014 Oregon tax return you filed. All you need to enter is your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), last name, and filing statuses for 2014 and 2015. Visit www.oregon.gov/dor and click on the “What’s My Kicker” link. You can only use this tool if your 2014 and 2015 filing statuses are the same.

If your filing statuses are different, you can calculate the amount of your credit by multiplying your 2014 tax liability before any credits, except credits for taxes paid to other states, by 5.6 percent.

You're eligible to claim the credit if you filed a 2014 Oregon tax return and had tax due before credits. Even if you don't have a filing obligation for 2015, you still have to file a 2015 Oregon tax return to claim your credit. The state may use all or part of your kicker to pay any state debt, such as taxes due for other years, child support, court fines, or school loans.

For more information on claiming your credit or how to donate it to the Oregon State School Fund, see the instructions for Oregon Form 40 (full-year Oregon residents), Form 40P (part-year residents), and Form 40N (nonresidents). All forms are available on our website at www.oregon.gov/dor/forms. Those using tax preparation software will be presented with options to determine their eligibility and credit amount.

Remember to file as early as possible to limit the potential for people to file fraudulent returns using your information. Filing early can also expedite processing by getting your return into the system sooner. We also recommend that you:

  • File electronically, using one of the many free options listed on our website at www.oregon.gov/dor/e-filing.

  • Have your bank routing numbers ready when you file so you can use direct deposit for your refund. You can get your refund in 7--10 days by e-filing and using direct deposit, versus up to 10 weeks if you file a paper return and request a paper check.

  • Complete your federal return first. You'll need information from it for your state return, and you must submit a copy of your federal return with your state return.

  • Ensure you have your W-2 included with your return. Filing a return without a copy of your W-2 can delay the processing of your return and refund.

Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments; or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. For TTY for hearing or speech impaired, call 1-800-886-7204.

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