2017 ORS 305.437¹
Damages for frivolous or groundless appeal or appeal to delay

(1) Whenever it appears to the Oregon Tax Court that proceedings before it have been instituted or maintained by a taxpayer primarily for delay or that the taxpayer’s position in such proceeding is frivolous or groundless, a penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000 shall be awarded to the Department of Revenue by the Oregon Tax Court in its judgment. The penalty so awarded shall be paid within 10 days after the judgment becomes final. If the penalty remains unpaid, the department may collect the amount awarded in the same manner as income taxes are collected under ORS 314.430 (Warrant for collection of taxes).

(2) As used in this section:

(a) A taxpayer’s position is “frivolous” if there was no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the position.

(b) “Position” means any claim, defense or argument asserted by a taxpayer without regard to any other claim, defense or argument asserted by the taxpayer. [1987 c.843 §4; 1995 c.650 §6a; 2009 c.640 §5]

Notes of Decisions

Damages Were Properly Imposed Against Taxpayer Under This Sec­tion Where Taxpayer’S Posi­tion Was “Groundless” In That

(1) no evidence was offered that, if believed, would support a finding and resulting judg­ment for taxpayer; and (2) there was no caselaw, statute, rule or regula­tion that supported taxpayer’s claim to relief. Detrick v. Dept. of Rev., 311 Or 152, 806 P2d 682 (1991)

Court may award damages under this sec­tion and attorney fees under ORS 20.105 (Attorney fees where party disobeys court order or asserts claim, defense or ground for appeal without objectively reasonable basis) in same case. Sesma v. Dept. of Revenue, 16 OTR 29 (2002)

“Posi­tion” of taxpayer means entirety of argu­ments asserted by taxpayer. Depart­ment of Revenue v. Croslin 345 Or 620, 201 P3d 900 (2009)

Court may award Depart­ment of Revenue actual damages caused by frivolous or groundless posi­tion of taxpayer, but may not award punitive damages. Depart­ment of Revenue v. Croslin, 345 Or 620, 201 P3d 900 (2009)

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)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 305—Administration of Revenue and Tax Laws; Appeals, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors305.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 305, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano305.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.