Oregon Department of Revenue

Rule Rule 150-314-0254
Separate Refunds When a Joint Return Has Been Filed


(1)

The department may, as a convenience to taxpayers, issue separate refunds when either spouse submits a signed request. To issue separate refunds when a joint refund check has already been issued, the check must be returned uncashed. If either spouse has an amount owing to the state of Oregon, any refund due that person will be applied to the liability and the balance, if any, issued in a separate refund check.

(2)

For purposes of this rule, the separate adjusted gross income (AGI) of each spouse is equal to each spouse’s share of Oregon adjusted gross income.
Example 1: Ann and her husband Ian, both Idaho residents, filed a joint Oregon return claiming a $600. He owes a $500 debt to an Oregon city for unpaid parking tickets so the department withheld part of the joint $600 refund to pay the $500 debt and issued a $100 refund for the difference. Before they cashed the $100 refund, Ann sent it back requesting her share of the amount paid to the city in Oregon because she did not owe the debt. Ian reported $25,000 of wages of which he earned $10,000 in Oregon. Ann reported $15,000 of wages of which $5,000 she earned in Oregon. They had no other income to report. The department will apportion her refund based on her share of Oregon AGI as follows:
Federal column Oregon Column
Ian’s wages $25,000 $10,000
Ann’s wages $15,000 $5,000
Federal AGI $40,000 $15,000 (Oregon AGI)
$5,000 ÷ $15,000 = 13
$600 x 13 = $200
The department will apportion the $600 refund and issue a $200 refund to Ann. Ian’s portion of the refund was $400 thus he still owes the City of Portland $100.

(3)

For purposes of this rule, items of income and deduction, separate adjusted gross income, and any refund claimed are determined without regard to community property law.
Example 2: Ethan and his wife Ava, both Washington residents, filed a joint Oregon return claiming a $1,500 refund. She owes a $1,200 debt to an Oregon university so the department withheld part of the joint refund and sent a $300 check for the difference. Before they cashed the $300 refund, Ethan sent it back requesting his share of the joint refund because he did not owe the debt and he claimed he owned half of the refund because he lives in a community property state. Ethan reported $50,000 of wages all of which he earned in Washington. Ava reported $25,000 of wages all of which she earned in Oregon. They had no other income to report. The department will apportion his refund based on his share of Oregon AGI without regard to community property law as follows:
Federal column Oregon Column
Ethan’s wages $50,000 $0
Ava’s wages $25,000 $25,000
Federal AGI $75,000 $25,000 (Oregon AGI)
Because Ethan does not have any share of the Oregon AGI and community property law is disregarded for this purpose, the entire refund belongs to Ava and the department will not apportion any of it to Ethan.

(4)

If the refund is being held for application against an amount owed to an agency of the state of Oregon, the request for separate refunds must be mailed to the Department of Revenue within 30 days of the date of the Notice of Proposed Adjustment and/or Distribution. Separate refunds will not be made if the request is not received timely.

(5)

Pursuant to ORS 18.665 (Duties generally)(2), the department cannot issue separate refunds when a garnishment or levy has been served on the department for one or both spouses.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021