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 Oregon income 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!
One note: As of the 2014 tax year, tax credit is only available to single adults with incomes under $100,000 and joint filers with income under $200,000.
How do you claim the $50 tax credit?
You'll find it on line 37 of the Form 40, the long form.
If you filled out the short form, Form 40S, it's on line 16, "Other credits". The credit is identified by entering 723 in 16A and the amount in 16B.
You can earn the tax credit for contributing to any candidate or measure on the ballot in Oregon, any political party, or any political committee registered in Oregon.
One more thing: The Oregon Political Tax Credit is not a refundable credit. So, if your Oregon income taxes for the year are already zero, then you won't get your $50 back.