Business Tax Policy: Application of Payments
Portland City Code Section 7.02.715 and Multnomah County Code Section 12.715 state that payments received shall first be applied to any penalty accrued, then to interest accrued, then to taxes due. The codes anticipate a single tax year being due and are silent as to application of payments when more than one tax year has an outstanding receivable.
In order to accommodate both multiple year payment plans and the Division’s automation needs, payments need to be applied by tax year to allow proper recording of payment information. Therefore, payments will be applied on multiple year receivables as follows:
- City of Portland Penalty for the oldest tax year; then
- City of Portland Interest for the oldest tax year; then
- Multnomah County Penalty for the oldest tax year; then
- Multnomah County Interest for the oldest tax year.
This pattern will repeat until all penalty and interest accrued has been paid. When a payment is received and no penalty or interest amounts are currently accrued on any tax year, the payment will be applied as follows:
- 64% on City of Portland Tax for the oldest year; and
- 36% on Multnomah County Tax for the oldest year.
This pattern will repeat until all monies have been applied and/or all receivables are paid in full. If any interest accrues between payments, interest will be paid prior to any payments against taxes.
Payments received by the Division designated as a Quarterly Estimated Payment, Extension Payment or a payment with a Combined Tax Return will not be applied to outstanding receivables due unless directed by the taxpayer. If a Combined Tax Return indicates that a refund is due the taxpayer and there are one or more outstanding receivables, the Division shall transfer part or all of the refund to the tax year(s) with the balances due. If such a transfer takes place, the Division will notify the taxpayer in writing.
If a payment plan exists on one or more receivables, unless designated otherwise, any monies received will be used to pay off balances due on the payment plan first.
5-15-2019 Thomas Lannom
Date Director, Revenue Division
Revised: 2009, 2019