Conferences: Purpose and Procedure
(1)A conference is a meeting with a department conference officer who reviews the reasons for the adjustment with the taxpayer. The purpose of a conference is to allow a person to obtain an informal department review of a deficiency notice or other department action if the person believes the notice or action is incorrect. Assessments related to personal income tax, corporate excise tax, or corporate income tax, including assessments issued under ORS 305.265 (Deficiency notice)(10) for failure to file a report or return, generally cannot be appealed using the conference process but must instead be appealed to the Oregon Tax Court. This provision does not prohibit use to the conference process for assessments issued for failure to file a withholding tax report. See ORS 316.207 (Liability for tax)(4)(a).
(2)A conference may be requested by a taxpayer in any of the following instances:
(a)From a determination of tax deficiency, interest, or penalty arising under ORS Chapters 118, 119, 314, 316, 317, 318, or 321.
(b)From a denial in whole or in part of a refund requested under ORS 305.270 (Refund of excess tax paid) or of an elderly rental assistance claim under 310.657.
(c)From a determination of cigarette tax under ORS Chapter 323 (Cigarettes and Tobacco Products).
(d)From a department action concerning any program administered by the department.
(3)Payment of a deficiency to stop the accumulation of interest will not affect a conference request or decision. If a conference decision favors the taxpayer, the amount of the payment determined to be owed to the taxpayer is refunded with interest.
(4)Conferences are informal. The taxpayer may raise any point of fact or law that has a bearing on the matter. The taxpayer may use witnesses. Any competent person with relevant information may be allowed to testify. A witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may give an opinion.
(5)A taxpayer may be represented by himself or herself, an attorney-at-law, certified public accountant, licensed tax consultant, public accountant, or other person authorized under ORS 305.230 (Qualifications of persons representing taxpayer).
(6)For purposes of ORS 305.265 (Deficiency notice)(6), the department employee who made the adjustment to the taxpayer’s return may not also conduct a conference related to the adjustment. However, the employee may attend the conference if so requested by the conference officer.
(7)Conferences are held in person in Salem or such other place as may be designated by the department or by telephone. The conference officer directs the conference proceedings. The person requesting the conference is given an opportunity to explain the facts, as the individual knows them, and to ask relevant questions of any conference participant. In all cases involving a conference granted under this rule, a written decision will be sent to the taxpayer. The decision will generally be sent by regular mail unless the taxpayer requests that the letter be sent by certified mail.
Rule 150-305-0204 — Conferences: Purpose and Procedure,