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Two New Oregon Laws for Employers

With so many changes in tax laws, being a small business owner can feel overwhelming.  Understanding and administering employment laws can by a big task.  We want to help you.

Oregon has two new programs that will begin in 2018; the Oregon Saves program and the new statewide Transit Tax

Here is a summary of what you need to know:

Oregon Saves

A new program in Oregon requires employers to provide a retirement plan to your employees or participate in the Oregon Saves program.  Oregon Saves is a retirement savings program administered by the state for employers that do not already offer an employer-sponsored retirement program.

Employers are now receiving emails during the early response period.  You likely have another year before you must comply, but we want to help you plan.

Here are the key dates that employers must register by:

  • May 15, 2018 Employers with 50-99 employees
  • December 15, 2018 Employers with 20-49
  • May 15, 2019 Employers with 10-19
  • November 15, 2019 Employers with 5-9
  • May 15, 2020 Employers with 4 or fewer


If you are an employer who does not already offer a retirement plan, we recommend that you consider your options before defaulting into the program.  Please let us know if you want guidance on retirement plan options.

If you choose to participate in the OregonSaves program, you deduct the contribution amount from your employee’s paycheck (default contribution rate is 5 percent of gross pay.) The deductions are after tax and are sent to a ROTH IRA administered by OregonSaves.  Employees may opt out of the program or save at lower rates rates.

Oregon Transit Tax

Beginning on July 1, 2018, employers must withhold the transit tax (.001 x wages) for all employees who perform work in Oregon.  This new Oregon transit tax is imposed on the employee, but the employer is required to withhold, report and remit the tax.  We will make sure this is processed as part of your payroll.

We will prepare and file the required quarterly report and the annual reconciliation report for this tax.  This is a new tax form which is separate from the Oregon OQ form.

Work Opportunity Credit

If you are hiring new employees who have been unemployed for a period of 27 weeks and received unemployment benefits during that period, you may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).  This credit encourages employers to hire designated categories of workers who face significant barriers to employment.  Please let us know if you have a new hire that may qualify you for this credit.