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What is forest tax?

Forest tax – sometimes called timber tax – is an excise tax that began in 1971, when the Legislature excluded timber from property taxation. In place of a property tax on trees, timber owners pay a 5 percent excise tax on the stumpage value of their timber when it is harvested. In 1982, the Forest Tax was extended to timber harvested from state and federal land, in addition to private land.

Who must pay forest tax?

Timber from private land: The person who owns the timber at the time of harvest is responsible for paying forest tax. Contractors performing labor and services for the timber owner are not responsible for the forest tax. When the owner of the timber cannot be determined, the landowner at the time of harvest will be responsible for the tax.

Timber from public land: The owner is the first person (other than the public entity) to acquire title or possessory interest to the timber.

Where do my forest taxes go?

The revenue is split between the counties and the state general fund. The timber is taxed at 5 percent, with 4 percent going to the county where the harvest occurred and 1 percent going to the state general fund.

Do I need a permit?

Most timber harvests on private land require a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

A copy of your approved permit will be sent to the Department of Revenue. The Department will then mail tax reporting forms and instructions to you. If you do not receive a return, call the Department of Revenue at 1-800-548-8829.

If a permit is not required, you must call the Department of Revenue at 1-800-548-8829 to register and pay your tax.

When are my taxes due?

Forest tax is due at the end of the month following the end of the quarter when the timber was harvested (see chart below).

For timber harvested during... Taxes are due...
Quarter 1 (January 1-March 31) April 30
Quarter 2 (April 1- June 30) July 31
Quarter 3 (July 1-September 30) October 31
Quarter 4 (October 1-December 31) January 31

For delinquent taxes paid on or after August 1, 2015, new penalty rates apply (9%, 19%, 29%). See Special Notice - Late Payment Penalties Increase for additional information.

How do I file?

There are two ways to file: online or by mail.

File online: Now you can file your forest tax return online where you file your business and occupation (B&O) taxes. Revenue’s free E-file system does the calculations for you, remembers your information, and gives you more ways to pay.

Getting started

To get started, you’ll need your Tax Reporting Account Number (TRN) and Pre-Assigned Access Code (PAC). Both numbers are located on your forest tax return you received in the mail.

If you aren’t signed up for My Account, register for a free account. Once logged in, click “File a Return,” then click “Forest Tax” to begin filing

Filing your return

Once you file your first forest tax return online, you will no longer receive a paper tax return. Instead, you will receive an email notification each quarter when your tax return is ready.

File by mail: Unless you have previously filed a forest tax return online, a return will be mailed to you each quarter. All first-time filers will receive a return in the mail. Send the completed return and your payment to the Department of Revenue at the address listed on the return. Blank forms are also available online.

If you do not receive a return, call the Department of Revenue at 1-800-548-8829.


If you have questions or need assistance from a Revenue forester, call 1-800-548-8829 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or e-mail us.

Questions & Answers