Administration of Revenue and Tax Laws

ORS 305.195
Written interrogatories

  • contents
  • time and manner of service
  • answer
  • objection
  • order for answer
  • demand for information by taxpayer
  • order for information


The Department of Revenue may serve upon any taxpayer written interrogatories to be answered by the taxpayer served or, if the taxpayer served is a corporation, partnership or association, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the taxpayer. Interrogatories may be served by the department whenever it deems it necessary for the purpose of determining the tax liability of any taxpayer having income from business activity which is taxable both within and without the state. The request for the interrogatories shall explain the nature of the department’s inquiry, the use to be made of the information, and the rights of appeal provided under subsection (4) of this section. The use of interrogatories shall be available at all times prior to a final order or determination by the department in the matter being investigated.


Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by the person making them. All objections made to written interrogatories must be signed by the attorney for the party making the objection, or by the party if the party has no attorney. The taxpayer upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within 30 days after the service of the interrogatories.


If any taxpayer refuses or fails to answer an interrogatory within the time required, the department may apply to the Oregon Tax Court for an order requiring answer of the interrogatory served. The application to the court shall be by ex parte motion upon which the court shall make an order requiring the taxpayer against whom it is directed to appear before the court on such date as the court shall designate in its order and show cause why the taxpayer should not answer the interrogatory of the department. The order shall require appearance in the county in which the person resides or has a place of business, or if there is no residence or place of business, at the court at Salem, Oregon, or in any event at such place as is agreeable to the parties and the court. The order shall be served upon the person to whom it is directed in the manner required by this state for service of process, which service shall be required to confer jurisdiction upon the court. Upon failure of such person to show cause for noncompliance, the court shall make an order requiring the person to comply with the demand of the department within such time as the court shall direct. Failure to obey any order issued by the court under this section is contempt of court. The remedy provided by this section shall be in addition to other remedies, civil or criminal, existing under the tax laws or other laws of this state.


If, after the taxpayer has been served with the department’s interrogatories, the taxpayer has reason to believe that the taxpayer has not been fully informed by the department as to the nature of the department’s inquiry or the use by the department of the information supplied, the taxpayer may, within 30 days after service upon the taxpayer, serve upon the department a demand for full information as to such inquiry and use. The department shall answer the demand within 30 days of receipt. If no answer is made by the department, or if answer is made and the answer is deemed unsatisfactory by the taxpayer, the taxpayer may within 30 days of the department’s answer, or 60 days of the demand if no answer has been made, apply to the Oregon Tax Court for an order requiring answer of the department by filing a petition in the manner provided by law for filing a personal income tax appeal to the court. The department shall answer and, after hearing, the court shall make such disposition of the matter as it deems necessary to achieve justice. [1977 c.866 §8]
Note: 305.195 (Written interrogatories) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 305 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
Chapter 305

Notes of Decisions

Policy of efficient and effective tax collection makes doctrine of estoppel against government in tax cases one of rare application. Pacific Conference v. Dept. of Rev., 7 OTR 429 (1978)

Law Review Citations

9 WLJ 193-260 (1973); 48 WLR 147 (2011)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021