Oregon Political Tax Credit

By making a contribution to Promote Oregon Leadership PAC or any House Republican candidate, you could be eligible for the Oregon Political Tax Credit. This means you can reduce your taxes while helping House Republicans deliver their pro-jobs, pro-reform message to voters.

If you donate $50 (or $100 for a couple), you will be able to take a dollar-for-dollar credit on your income taxes for the tax year when you made the contribution. Think of it this way: If you make a $100 contribution to Promote Oregon Leadership PAC in 2012 and, after doing your taxes, discover you owe the government $100, you can then apply your Political Tax Credit for the 2012 tax year – and owe the government nothing.

Oregon Political Tax Credit- Frequently Asked Questions
Source: Oregon Department of Revenue; consult a tax or accounting professional for more information.

Who can claim the credit?
To qualify, you must have contributed money in the year you claim the credit. You must reduce the amount of your contribution by the fair market value (FMV) of any item(s) or service(s) you receive in exchange for your contribution. Contributions of goods or services do not qualify. Keep receipts from the candidate or organization with your tax records. You can use copies of canceled checks as your receipt.

How much is the credit?
Your credit is equal to your contribution, but limited to $100 on a joint return or $50 on a single or separate return.

Partners or S corporation shareholders can claim a credit for their share of political contributions made by the partnership or S corporation. The contribution must meet the statutory requirements. The $50 and $100 limits apply individually to each partner’s or shareholder’s return.

No carryforward. The credit cannot be more than your tax liability for Oregon. Any credit not used this year is lost.

Which contributions qualify?
Candidates and their principal campaign committees. You can claim a credit for a contribution to a candidate for federal, state, or local elective office, or to the candidate’s principal campaign committee. To qualify, at least one of the following must occur in Oregon the same calendar year you made your contribution:

• The candidate’s name must be listed on a primary, general, or special election ballot,
• A prospective petition of nomination must be filed by or for the candidate,
• A declaration of candidacy must be filed by or for the candidate,
• A certificate of nomination must be filed by or for the candidate,
• A designation of a principal campaign committee must be filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. Note: The designation must be made in each year a contribution is made to qualify under this provision.

Political action committees. You can claim a credit for contributions to political action committees (PACs). The organization must have certified the name of its political treasurer with the appropriate filing officer, usually the Secretary of State for statewide or regional elections, your county clerk for county elections, or your city recorder for city elections. PACs registered with the Federal Elections Commission may not be required to register in Oregon.

Political parties. Political parties can be national, state, or local committees of major political parties. Oregon also allows a tax credit for contributions made to minor political parties that qualify under state law. Contact the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office in Salem at 503-986-1518 to see if a particular party qualifies.

Newsletter fund—credit not allowed. Oregon does not allow a credit for contributions made to a newsletter fund.

Example 1: Holly contributes $275 for a fund-raising dinner for a presidential candidate. The FMV of the dinner was $35. Holly’s political contribution is $240. She must reduce her $275 contribution by the $35 FMV of the dinner she received. Being single, Holly’s political contribution credit is limited to $50.

Example 2: Burt donated a desk, chair, and a four-drawer file cabinet to his favorite political action committee (PAC) headquarters. The FMV of the furniture is $410. Burt has a written receipt from the PAC. He cannot claim a political contribution credit because he didn’t contribute money to the PAC. His contribution of office furniture does not qualify for the credit.

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