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The Oregon Political Tax Credit
The Political Tax Credit allows a married couple to contribute up to $100 - a single person can contribute up to $50 - to a qualified political candidate and receive the full amount of their contribution back as a credit on their Oregon Income Tax Return.
A Credit, Not A Deduction
Please note, this is not a tax deduction like your home mortgage interest deduction or contributions to charity. This is a dollar-for-dollar credit. In other words, if your total state taxes for 2004 were $1,000 and you made a political contribution to a qualified political committee of $100, you would pay only $900 in state income taxes.
The maximum allowable credit for a married couple filing jointly is $100. The limit for individual taxpayers is $50. (You may always contribute more to the committee - but the credit applied to your taxes is limited to $100 for couples and $50 for singles.) Naturally, your tax bill must equal or exceed your contribution to receive the full credit.
Qualifying Oregon political organizations include the following:
You Have A Choice
The Political Tax Credit is a no-cost way to support the political cause of your choice. Said another way, the political tax credit allows you to "re-direct" a portion of your taxes. You can say rather than giving $100 to the government, I will give it to Clarke's campaign committee instead. Either way, you still have to spend the money - but by taking advantage of the Political Tax Credit you decide how it gets used! So the Political Tax Credit literally costs you nothing!
Please keep your cancelled check. You do not need to attach it to your state return, but it's wise to keep it for your records. If you have further questions regarding the Political Tax Credit, please consult your tax advisor.
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