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Jody, I don't think it's political. Here's what Oregon Revenue Dept told tax professionals in May 2017 in response to questions about manual review, fyi.

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/taxpro/Documents/tax-practitioner-meeting_05-17.pdf">https://www...>

"Q – What does it mean when my client’s return is in “manual review”.
A – There are many reasons a return may be stopped during processing. Some examples are:
• Withholding unreasonable (amount of withholding doesn’t make sense compared to
reported income)
• Large refund
• Fraudulent return suspect
• Missing information
• Claimed the Working Family Household and Dependent Care credit

Processing criteria is determined at the start of each tax season. Criteria that will stop a return during processing is called an “edit”. If a return hits an edit, processing stops and the system assigns the return to a queue to be manually processed. At this time the “manual review” message will appear on the taxpayer’s account. The “manual review” message means the return is in a queue and does not mean the return is actively being reviewed. During heavy processing, there are tens of thousands of returns in the queue, and they are worked in the order received.

Many returns in “manual review” are able to complete processing automatically once someone evaluates the reason the return was stopped. Other returns require more information, and that’s when we will issue a letter. Because this is a manual process, it takes time, and a return can be in “manual review” for several months before being looked at. It does not mean someone at the department has been reviewing the return for a month.

Q – If we have additional support information, my it be included with the return as a PDF.

A – If the return is being electronically filed, YES! If your software supports attachments, the department can accept them, and we encourage this and it can prevent us from requesting the information later. If the return is being paper filed as a 2-D return, then no. Please only include the required forms. At this time we do not have the capability to process or image supporting documentation for paper-filed returns and this information will be stripped and shredded."