Oregon Tax Credit

Oregon Political Tax Credit

It's your fifty bucks. Use it or lose it.

The Oregon Political Tax Credit is one of those progressive ideas that makes Oregon a great place to live, work, and play.

Through our tax system, the State of Oregon gives each tax-paying Oregonian a $50 gift. But you can't keep it. Instead, you must either pay it back in state taxes -- or donate it to a qualified political campaign or cause.

To put it another way: By donating $50 to a political campaign of your choice, you can reduce your taxes or increase your refund by that same $50 (assuming you pay at least $50 in taxes). That's right: it's a full 100% credit, not a deduction.

The bottom line? By contributing $50 to a progressive political campaign, you can make Oregon a better place - and it won't cost you a dime. Married, filing jointly? It's $50 per person - so you and your spouse can donate $100 and get it all back!

How do you claim the $50 tax credit?

You'll find it on line 26 of the Form 40 individual tax form.

What donations qualify for the credit?

Here's what the state tax instructions say:

Political contribution credit. Fill in your total political contributions, but not more than $100 on a joint return or $50 on all others. You must have contributed money during [the calendar year] to any of the following:
  • A political party.
  • A qualified candidate (or the candidate‚Äôs principal campaign committee) for federal, state, or local office to be voted for in Oregon.
  • A political action committee certified in Oregon.

So, basically any candidate or measure on the ballot in Oregon, any political party, or any political committee registered in Oregon. (But not a 501c3 nonprofit; those are deductible elsewhere.) More info from the state of Oregon.

Two important final notes:

Posted on July 21, 2009.