Under ORS 401.165, Oregon's Declaration of State of Emergency, the Governor has the ability to declare a state of emergency if a crisis is evident in the state or a specific county. In the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown, utilized the declaration to have the Oregon Employment Department offer support to the businesses affected by COVID-19.
The relief offered to businesses allowed them to pay their unemployment insurance taxes 30 days after the COVID-19 State of Emergency ended. However, since the effects of COVID-19 are still prevalent, the State of Emergency has been lengthened multiple times, meaning the deadline for employers to pay their unemployment insurance taxes has also been extended. The Oregon Employment Department is now offering more relief for those business owners affected by COVID-19.
The Oregon Employment Department recently announced a payment plan opportunity for employers that meet the following requirements:
- Unemployment insurance taxes due prior to the pandemic were paid accurately and on time.
- The employer's unemployment insurance tax rate increased at least 0.5% from 2020 to 2021.
Certain restrictions still apply for employers that are qualified for the payment plan. Quarterly payroll reports are still due by the original due date. The employer must work with the Oregon Employment Department to determine a payment plan if they are to expect interest and penalties to be eliminated. Payment conditions must be met including, two-thirds of the payment is due in advance. The payment plan requires the employer to make minimum payments of $100 monthly until the total amount is reached or by June 30, 2022.
Employers can visit the Oregon.gov website to fill out the Employer Payment Plan Request form to apply for the additional relief.