On May 24, 2021, the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court denied a taxpayer’s motions for summary judgment, finding the taxpayer’s claim for refund was filed beyond the statute of limitations. Specifically, on December 4, 2015, the taxpayer filed its Oregon corporation excise tax return for tax year end February 28, 2015. The taxpayer subsequently filed an amended federal tax return, which the IRS accepted and issued a refund for on January 8, 2019 (without issuing a Revenue Agent’s Report). The taxpayer then filed its amended Oregon corporation excise tax return on February 1, 2019, reporting those same changes. The taxpayer’s amended return was filed three years, one month and 28 days after the taxpayer’s originally filed Oregon return.
Oregon law generally requires a taxpayer file a refund claim within three years after the original return was filed, pursuant to ORS § 314.415(2)(a). An exception to the general rule is found in ORS § 314.380(2)(b), which provides that a change or correction made by the IRS or another state revenue authority giving rise to a claim for refund will extend the general statute of limitation. ORS § 314.380(2)(c) requires a taxpayer to file an amended Oregon return to report a change in Oregon tax liability based on the filing of an amended federal or other state return; however, that provision makes no reference to a claim a refund. Considering these provisions, the court concluded that the filing of the taxpayer’s amended Oregon return was governed by ORS § 314.380(2)(c), based on the filing of the federal amended return, and that although the taxpayer filed within the 90 day filing requirement, that provision of ORS § 314.380 does not provide a statute of limitations extension for refund claims. Thus, the court determined that the taxpayer’s claim for refund was bared by the general claim for refund provision (ORS § 314.415(2)(a)) since the taxpayer’s amended Oregon return was filed more than three years after the date its original return was filed.