|Common questions about the 2007 kicker
Last revised February 5, 2008
- What is the kicker?
The kicker is a refund of surplus revenue in the state’s general fund.
- Is the amount of my kicker refund included in the 2007 tax refunds shown on the 1099G that I received?
Yes. The amount of tax shown on the 1099G includes the amount of your kicker refund. If your kicker refund was used to pay off a debt or used for a donation, you are still considered to have received the refund.
This amount is reported to the IRS. Your kicker refund will be taxable to the same extent as any other state tax refund you received during the tax year (for example, if you itemized your deductions, you will need to include it in your federal income).
- How much is the total amount of the personal income tax kicker this biennium?
As of the August 31 forecast by the state economist, the amount of the personal income tax kicker is $1.071 billion.
- When will I get my kicker check?
The Department of Revenue has until December 15, 2007, to mail the checks. But, if you filed your return late, your kicker check may be mailed after December 15.
- Where does the money come from?
The money comes from noncorporate general fund revenue sources. These include personal income tax, insurance tax, inheritance tax, tobacco tax, and other nontax revenue sources. The personal income tax is by far the largest contributor.
- Why doesn't the state keep the money to use for programs?
The Oregon Constitution requires that, when there is at least a 2 percent difference between the final revenue forecast for the biennium and the actual end of the biennium revenue, the surplus be returned to individual income taxpayers.
- Why doesn't the money go into the rainy day fund?
Because the constitution requires that it be returned.
- Who will get a kicker?
Individual income taxpayers who filed a 2006 tax return (residents, part-year residents and nonresidents) with a tax before credits will get a kicker. However, the state may use all or part of a person’s kicker to pay a state debt (tax liability for another year, child support, court fine, school loans, etc.), if they owe one, or to pay a garnishment. Also, Oregon law won’t allow us to print kicker checks that are less than $1.
- Who won't get one?
Taxpayers who don’t file a 2006 individual income tax return won’t get a kicker check. Those who do file 2006 individual income tax returns but had no tax before credits also won’t get kickers.
- What changes to the kicker did the 2007 Legislature make?
The Legislature changed the base for figuring the kicker. It used to be based on tax liability after credits but beginning with the 2007 kicker, the base will be tax before credits.
- How will those changes affect my kicker?
You now may be eligible for a kicker check even if your credits reduced your tax to zero.
- How is the amount of the personal income tax kicker percentage figured?
It is the amount that the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis calculates as the percentage required to refund the excess revenues.
- Can you use my kicker to pay my 2007 estimated taxes?
- What should I do if I've moved?
Go the department's website to download a change of address form to submit to the department. You should also fill out a change of address form with your post office.
- If I donate my kicker to the State School Fund, can I claim that as a charitable donation?
Yes, if you itemize using federal Schedule A.
- I checked the box on my 2006 tax return to donate my kicker to the State School Fund, but I've changed my mind. Can I reverse my decision and get my kicker?
No. The choice you made is final and under Oregon law, it can't be changed. You cannot amend your return to change your decision.
- How can I donate my kicker refund to another public agency? Or to the state's general fund?
Contact the agency to which you want to donate. If you want to donate to the state’s general fund, contact the Department of Administrative Services.
- If I donate my kicker to a state agency, or to the General Fund, is that considered a charitable contribution?
Yes, if you itemize using federal Schedule A.
- Will my kicker be used to pay my debts that are collected by the state?
Yes. Your kicker check can be used, or offset, to pay any fine, fee, judgment or debt owed to any agency for which the Department of Revenue collects. If your kicker refund is applied to an outstanding debt, you will receive a notice explaining that.
- What should I do if I don't get my check by January 6?
Call our office, 1-800-356-4222 (toll free from an Oregon prefix) or 503-378-4988 (Salem and outside Oregon). We have to wait 30 days before we can issue you another check.
- How do I calculate my kicker?
Check your 2006 Oregon return, Form 40, line 29; Form 40S, line 13; Form 40N, line 51; Form 40P, line 50. Multiply 0.1860 by the amount on the line to determine your kicker refund amount.
- What should I do if I lose my check or it is destroyed?
Call our office at 1-800-356-4222 (toll free from an Oregon prefix) or 503-378-4988 (Salem and outside Oregon).
- How long do I have to cash my check?
Checks are good for two years. After that, by law, we turn the money over to the Division of State Lands (DSL) Unclaimed Property section. Once there, you can still get your refund, you just have to request it from DSL.
- You took our joint kicker check and applied it to my spouse's outstanding accounts. How do I get my share?
You must write to request an apportionment within 30 days of the date of the notice telling you your kicker has been applied to your spouse's outstanding debt. Mail the request to the address shown on the notice, or visit taxpayer assistance for contact information.
- How long does an "apportionment of a kicker refund" take?
If your kicker refund needs to be apportioned between several accounts through our Other Agency Accounts unit, allow four to six weeks. Allow three months for all other types of apportionments. You must request your apportionment in writing within 30 days of the date of the notice telling you your kicker refund has been applied to your spouse's outstanding debt. The refund will be apportioned based on your adjusted gross income.
- Our kicker refund was garnished to pay my spouse's debts. Can I request an apportionment?
We can’t divide your refund if it was used to pay a Department of Revenue Garnishment Writ, a bankruptcy garnishment, or an IRS debt. As a result, you may not request an apportionment.
- My ex-spouse and I jointly filed our 2006 Oregon individual income tax return. A kicker check in both of our names was sent. How can the kicker refund be apportioned so that each of us receives a fair share of the refund?
Send the check back to the Oregon Department of Revenue, with a written request that the refund be apportioned between you and your ex-spouse. Be sure to include:
• Full name
• Social Security number
• Telephone number