Charity tax Form-resized-600It's that time of year once again, when we think of an extra gift to our favorite charity.  What if you could make a $1,000 donation and your cost is roughly only $110?  You can!  A matching gift to the The Oregon Cultural Trust "OCT" can provide significant tax savings which makes supporting your favorite Oregon charity even easier.  The OCT is a program of the state of Oregon to encourage gifts to cultural organizations like OPB, the High Desert Museum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the University of Oregon Foundation, Oregon Ballet Foundation, George Fox University, etc.

There are just four simple steps to follow (you do the first two and we'll do the final two):

1. For a married filing joint taxpayer, make a contribution of up to $1,000 ($500 for single) to a qualified cultural organization (check out the OCT website for a list of the 1,300 qualifying arts, heritage, and humanities nonprofits)

2. Make a matching contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust

3. Take the charitable donation deduction on your tax return

4. Claim the tax credit on your Oregon tax return

So how does it work?  Let's say you're married, therefore filing jointly, and you regularly give $1,000 to your alma mater, the University of Oregon Foundation (Go Ducks!).  All you would need to do in addition to this, is match the initial gift with a $1,000 gift to The Oregon Cultural Trust.  You are now qualified for a charitable deduction of $2,000 on your Federal return.  This can save you roughly $800 if you are in the top tax bracket.  You also qualify for a $1,000 charitable deduction on your Oregon return, saving another $90.  And finally, you qualify for a $1,000 credit against your taxes in Oregon.  So a gift of $2,000 saves you $1,890 dollars in taxes.

In conclusion, for the cost of $110 you can benefit your favorite charity and the Oregon Cultural Trust, who in turn distributes the funds it receives to these same charities in the form of grants.

Delap LLP is one of Portland’s largest local tax, audit, and consulting accounting firms, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon.