Employer's Guide to Unemployment Insurance Tax in Oregon

Everything employers need to know about paying unemployment insurance taxes in Oregon.

If your small business has employees working in Oregon, you’ll need to pay Oregon unemployment insurance (UI) tax.The UI tax funds unemployment compensation programs for eligible employees.In Oregon, state UI tax is just one of several taxes that employers must pay.Other important employer taxes, not covered here, include federal UI tax, and state and federal withholding taxes.

Different states have different rules and rates for UI taxes.Here are the basic rules for Oregon’s UI tax.

Register With the Department of Revenue and the Employment Department

As an Oregon employer, your small business must establish an account with the Oregon Department of Revenue(DOR) and Oregon Employment Department.You can register either online or on paper.Once registered, you’ll be issued a Business Identification Number (BIN) that you will use for all payroll tax purposes including for UI taxes.To register online, go to the Oregon Business Registry (OBR) within the Secretary of State website.If you register online, you should receive your BIN in 1-3 working days.To register on paper, use Form 150-211-055, Combined Employer’s Registration.You can download blank forms from the Forms and Publications section of the DOR website.The form can be submitted by regular mail or by fax.If you register by mail, you should receive your BIN in about three weeks.There is no fee to register your business with DOR.Whether online or on paper, the process registers your business with the main employment-related state agencies including the Employment Department.

Note:To establish your Oregon UI tax account, you’ll need a federal employer identification number (EIN).You can apply for an EIN at irs.gov.Generally, if you apply online, you will receive your EIN immediately.

Rules for UI Tax Liability

In Oregon, most for-profit employers are liable for state UI taxes as soon as they have either:

  • paid $1,000 or more to employees in a calendar quarter (a three-month period that begins January 1, April 1, July 1 or October 1), or
  • one or more employees in each of 18 weeks during a calendar year.

These rules are different from those that apply for liability under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).There are also different Oregon rules, not covered here, that apply to agricultural (farm) workers, domestic (in-home) workers, and employees of some (but not all) non-profit organizations.

One piece of good news is that state UI tax payments generally can be credited against your FUTA taxes.

Wage Base and Tax Rates

UI tax is paid on each employee’s wages up to a maximum annual amount.That amount, known as the taxable wage base, increases by roughly $700-900 every year in Oregon.In recent years it has approached and then exceeded $35,000.

The state UI tax rate for new employers, also known as the standard beginning tax rate, also changes from one year to the next, either increasing or decreasing.In recent years, it generally has been between 2.9% and 3.3%.Established employers are subject to a lower or higher rate than new employers depending on an “experience rating.”This means, among other things, whether your business has ever had any employees who made claims for state unemployment benefits.

File Quarterly UI Tax Reports and Payments

Oregon combines its UI and other payroll tax reporting.UI tax reports and payments are due on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.In other words:

  • First Quarter reports and payments are due on or before April 30
  • Second Quarter reports and payments are due on or before July 31
  • Third Quarter reports and payments are due on or before October 31, and
  • Fourth Quarter reports and payments are due on or before January 31.

If the due date is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the due date is extended to the next business day.

You can file your reports and payments online or on paper.For online filing you have two options:

Talk to a Tax Attorney

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you

Talk to a Tax attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you