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Tax Season Got Off to a Rough Start in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Revenue sent personal tax refund info for 5,000 taxpayers to the wrong address.

By Jeff Manning, (TNS)

The Oregon Department of Revenue acknowledged Thursday that it sent personal tax refund information for about 5,000 taxpayers to the wrong address.

All 5,000 are intended for, and were mailed to, Portland residents, said Robin Maxey, a spokesperson for the department. The mailing address on the outside, however, doesn’t match up with the information contained on the forms.

The 1099-G forms include the names, the addresses, the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number and the amount of their state and local tax refunds from last year.

The 1099-G is a form issued by the government to inform taxpayers of funds they may have received that may need to be reported on their federal tax return, most typically tax refunds.

Maxey said the vendor that prints and mails the 1099-G forms “determined that the error occurred on their side.” The department sent out correct forms on Tuesday.

Robbin Battison, of Portland, opened the 1099-G form mailed to his house earlier this week and found it was someone else’s form. In fact, it was a neighbor’s.

Battison knocked on the neighbor’s door and handed him his 1099-G. The neighbor, in turn, tore open the form he had received. It, too, was someone else’s. Battison then phoned his son, who also found someone else’s information inside.

Battison worries that some taxpayers may not notice their 1099-G is actually someone else’s and inadvertently file a false tax return.

“I think this is a matter of real public concern,” he said.

All of the impacted taxpayers are in Portland, 96% of them in the 97202, 97205, 97206 and 97209 ZIP codes. That includes downtown, Old Town, the Pearl District and much of the east side, including Battison’s neighborhood of Sellwood.

The state revenue department is asking that recipients of bad 1099-G forms destroy them immediately. It’s notifying each by mail what happened and why they got the wrong form, and affected taxpayers will be offered credit monitoring.

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