The case of the vanishing and reappearing tax kicker
There is a way for people to get a check if their kickers went to schools by mistake
Taxpayers who reported that they didn't donate their kicker refund to the State School Fund when they electronically filed their 2006 personal income tax returns can get their kicker refund back, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced last week.
The decision is based on a technicality: the fact that the inadvertent donation was an electronic accident and not a choice by the taxpayer.
Deputy Director Susan Browning said the department determined that the law that makes the election to donate the kicker irrevocable applies only to those who make that choice.
'In this case, these taxpayers are telling us they did not make the choice to donate,' Browning said.
The department is sending letters to every e-filing taxpayer whose kicker refund was donated to the State School Fund. Nearly 6,800 e-filers donated their kickers to the fund, either by choice or not.
Taxpayers who didn't check the box to donate their kicker but received a notice from the department telling them their kicker had been donated to the State School Fund, may request their kicker check by doing all of the following:
1. Make a copy of only the front page of the 2006 Oregon tax return (Form 40S, 40, 40P, or 40N) that shows the 'donate kicker' box is not checked.
2. Write 'kicker' plainly across the top of the page.
3. On the back of the tax return copy, write: 'I certify that I did not check the box to donate my tax year 2006 kicker to the State School Fund.'
4. Sign and legibly print your name and the date. If you filed a joint return, both spouses must sign and date.
5. Mail (don't e-mail or fax) only that page of your tax return with your signed statement on the back, along with the letter, to Oregon Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 14600, Salem, OR 97309-5049.
All requests must be postmarked by Feb.1, 2008.
The department will send the taxpayer the kicker check within three to four weeks after it receives this information. Taxpayers who owe a debt on which the state collects may receive a smaller-than-expected kicker check.
The department will process the checks in the order that information is received from taxpayers. Beginning Jan. 2, the Department Of Revenue will post on its Web site www.oregon.gov/DOR the status of kicker-refund processing.
The department's call center is very busy, and taxpayers may get a busy signal or experience extended wait times.
'We appreciate the public's patience during this time,' Browning said. 'And we appreciate the cooperation from the Oregon Department of Education and guidance from the governor's office.'