Oregon Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Laws

Tax evasion occurs when a person, or a corporation, intentionally avoids paying taxes via illegal means. The term "tax evasion" is often used interchangeably with the term "tax fraud"; however, tax fraud is technically a specific type of tax evasion where a taxpayer intentionally makes fraudulent statements on his tax return.

For both tax evasion and tax fraud, intent is key. Tax laws can be complicated and mistakes are made frequently. However, mistakes that are made in good faith don't qualify as tax fraud. Only acts that are done intentionally in order to avoid paying a tax can be considered tax fraud.

Common examples of tax evasion include:

  • Fraudulently filing (or not filing) statements of personal income, omitting income, or exaggerating expenses
  • An employer who refuses to withhold taxes from an employee's paycheck, pays an employee "under the table," or misclassifies employees as independent contractors
  • Illegally selling unstamped cigarettes, smuggling, or hijacking cigarettes

The following chart highlights Oregon's main tax fraud and tax evasion laws.

Code Section

Oregon Penal Code section 314.075: Evading Tax Requirements is Prohibited

What's Prohibited?

Intentionally evading any tax requirement imposed by the Department of Revenue by either:

  • Failing to pay a tax or to provide any required information
  • Signing or rendering any false or fraudulent tax return or statement, or
  • Supplying any false or fraudulent information

This law applies to individuals, officers or employees of a corporation, and to members or employees of a partnership.

Penalties

Class C felon. Punishable by a penalty of up to $1,000.

How to Report Tax Fraud

The Oregon Department of Revenue asks that suspected tax fraud be reported by calling (503) 945-8264 or by using this web form. Tips can be submitted anonymously, however, sometimes information about the reporter can be released. Note that if you choose to provide your contact information it can be disclosed through a public records request.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Oregon's tax fraud and tax evasion laws contact a local tax attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.