The effect of H-2 forming gas annealing on the microwave properties of Ba(Zn1/3Ta2/3)O-3 (BZT) dielectric ceramics has been studied. The structural, microwave, DC electrical and optical properties were analyzed by experiment results. With elevated temperature annealing, the microwave loss of BZT was increased. This trend correlated with high DC conductivity of annealed samples, as well as dampened phonons found in Raman spectra. These evidences, together, prove that the enhancement of oxygen vacancy defects induced by oxygen deficient sintering environment is one of the main extrinsic root causes for the high microwave loss in practical ceramic materials.