Oregon DOJ Ramps up Child Support Reporting Requirements for Payments to Independent Contractors

Many companies with independent contractors working in Oregon recently received correspondence from the Oregon Department of Justice’s Division of Child Support (“Division”) reminding them of new reporting obligations with respect to payments to independent contractors. The purpose of such reporting is to identify individuals who owe child support and to collect payments if necessary. Companies subject to these obligations should be familiar with the reporting requirements imposed on them.

The Reporting Requirement

The reporting requirement took effect January 1, 2024, and applies to companies that have employees or independent contractors working in Oregon, or multi-state companies that designate Oregon as their reporting state to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Those companies are required to report an independent contractor’s name, address, social security number, and first day of work to the Division. Companies can file reports by completing the Division’s form or sending a copy of the independent contractor’s W-9. Reports can be made by mail, fax, or electronically via the Oregon Employer Services Portal (“Portal”).

Reports by mail or fax are due within 20 days of engaging or re-engaging an independent contractor. Electronic reports through the Portal are due each month no more than 12-16 days apart.

Reporting Is Limited to Certain Independent Contractors

The reporting requirement does not apply to all independent contractor engagements or re-engagements. For example, reports are limited to “an individual who must file a federal form W-9 under the Internal Revenue Code and who is anticipated to be performing services for more than 20 days” in a calendar year. Since the reporting obligation extends only to independent contractors who are “individuals,” companies need not report business entities they engage or re-engage.

If the independent contractor is anticipated to perform services for 20 days or less, then reporting is not required. With respect to re-engagement, reporting is only required if the independent contractor has not performed services within the past 60 days.

What Happens to the Report?

Reports to the Division are confidential and exempt from public disclosure but may be shared by the Division with other public agencies such as the Department of Revenue. Reporting companies may receive income withholding orders from the Division requiring them to garnish payments to independent contractors for child support. Companies should consult counsel given the many rules surrounding reporting and withholding requirements.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.