Tax Credits for Working Families

Oregon

**Oregon is one of only four states to regulate paid tax preparers.

Earned Income Tax Credit^

Income Tax Rate: Graduated, 5 -7 -9 -10.8 and -11 percent through 2011; 5 -7 -9 and -9.9 percent in 2012 and 8 percent starting in 20141

Refundable: Yes

Enacted: 1997

Formula: 8 percent of the federal EITC

News/Notes: Oregon’s EITC was scheduled to sunset in 2013. In his budget, the governor proposed to extend the EITC for another six years and raise it from 6 percent to 8 percent of the federal EITC.  In Oregon, the process for creating or extending credits comes at the end of the legislative session after the rest of the budget is completed.

In May 2013 a joint legislative committee began discussions on which tax credits to extend, including the EITC. Although they developed a bill that would have expanded the credit to 8 percent, in the final hours of the legislature that bill failed. The credit was extended at the six percent level.

In a special session in October 2013, the Oregon legislature increased the state EITC from 6 percent to 8 percent effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1 2014.

Reports/Materials: Working But Still Poor, Oregon Center for Public Policy, June 2013

Letter from Gov. Kitzhaber on the Expansion of Oregon’s EITC, June 2013

VIDEO: Earned Income Tax Credit: Circulates the money, Main Street Alliance, May 2013

VIDEO: Main Street Alliance: Earned Income Tax Credit, Main Street Alliance, May 2013

VIDEO: Earned Income Tax Credit: Spent in the Community, Main Street Alliance, May 2013

VIDEO: Earned Income Tax Credit: The Right Thing to Do, Main Street Alliance, May 2013

VIDEO: Earned Income Tax Credit: Extend and Improve, Main Street Alliance, May 2013

Examples of Families that Qualify for Oregon’s Earned Income Tax Credit, Oregon Center for Public Policy, March 2013

Testimony to Senate Finance and Revenue Committee Re: SB 326 – Extending and Improving the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit, Main Street Alliance of Business Owners, March 2013

Renew and strengthen the Oregon EITC – HB 2477 and SB 326, Main Street Alliance Business Owners, March 2013

Preserve the Credit Workers Have Earned, Chuck Sheketoff, Oregon Center for Public Policy, February 2013

Oregon State & Local Taxes,” from Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, January 2013

EITC Helps a Quarter Million Working Families in Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy, January 2013

Don’t Let It Sunset Across Oregon: Renew and Strengthen the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit, Oregon Center for Public Policy, November 2012

The EITC’s Benefits by District: SB 349 would help a significant share of lawmakers’ constituents, Oregon Center for Public Policy, June 2011

SB 349 Helps Working Families Get Ahead: Should be a Top Legislative Priority, Oregonians for Working Families, March 2011

Help Working Families Get Ahead: SB 349 Will Improve Oregon’s Earned Income Tax Credit, Oregonians for Working Families, January 2011

Earned Income Tax Credit throughout Oregon: How the EITC impacts Oregon’s House and Senate Districts, Oregonians for Working Families, January 2011

Improving Oregon’s Earned Income Tax Credit: SB 1044 Would Help Oregon Working Families Get Ahead, Oregonians for Working Families, February 2010

Oregon State and Local Taxes in 2007, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 2009

Will Poor, Working Families Be Roadkill?: The Jobs and Transportation Act’s Regressive Tax and Fee Increases Will Set Back Low-Income Working Families With Children Unless the Legislature Enacts a Modest EITC Expansion, Oregon Center for Public Policy, June 2009

Your Constituents Utilize the EITC: Improving It Should Be Part of Any Revenue Package, Oregon Center for Public Policy, May 2009

An Improved Tax Credit, a New Direction for Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy, CenterPoints, February 2009

No Contest: Why expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit is better for working families and Oregon than the Tax Bracket Increase, Oregon Center for Public Policy, August 2008

Expanding the EITC in 2009, Oregon Center for Public Policy, March 2008

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: How to Pay for an Improvement in the Earned Income Credit, Oregon Center for Public Policy, April 2007

Oregon State Fact Sheet, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Working, Poor and Taxed: Improving Oregon’s Earned Income Tax Credit, Oregon Center for Public Policy, April 4, 2007

Investing in Working Families: Improving Oregon’s Earned Income Credit, Michael Leachman, Oregon Center for Public Policy, February 25, 2005

Helping Families Help Themselves, Family Impact Seminar

Making Ends Meet: Improving Oregon’s EITC, Oregon Center for Public Policy, February 2003

Articles: Advocates Push Bigger Tax Credit For Working Families, Chris Lehman, Oregon Public Broadcasting, February 12, 2010

State, federal tax credits can help families with cost of child care, The Oregonian, February 9, 2007

Editorial: When Working Isn’t Enough, The Oregonian, January 8, 2000

Child Tax Credit^

State Credit: No

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit^

State Credit: Oregon has two state credits. One, the child and dependent care tax credit, can only be claimed by those who are eligible for the federal credit. However, they can claim the full value of the state credit; while it is not refundable, they can use the unused portion in the next five years (“carry forward”). The second credit is the Working Family Child Care Credit, a refundable tax credit for low-income working families. The credit is based on qualifying child care expenses, household size and adjusted gross income.

Refundable: The child and dependent care tax credit is not refundable but the unclaimed portion can be carried forward for the next five years. The Working Family Child Care Credit is refundable.

Eligibility: Filers are eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit if they are eligible for the federal credit, except that the household income must be under $45,000. Filers are eligible for the Working Family Child Care Credit if they have at least $8,000 of earned income from Oregon sources, their adjusted gross income is less than the limits for household size shown on the working family child care credit tables, and they paid qualifying child care expenses.

Formula: Filers eligible for the federal Child and Dependent Care Credit may claim a percentage of that credit for expenses allowed for the federal credit on their Oregon tax return. The percentage varies based on the filer’s income. Incomes above $45,000 are ineligible.

Income

Percentage of the federal credit

≤ $5,000 30 percent
$5,001-$10,000 15 percent
$10,001-$15,000 8 percent
$15,001-$25,000 6 percent
$25,001-$35,000 5 percent
$35,001-$45,000 4 percent

For the formula for the Working Family Child Care Credit, please click here.

News/Notes: If the value of this credit exceeds income tax liability, the unused amount may be used against tax liability in subsequent years, for up to five years. Eligible filers may claim both credits, and there is no maximum dollar limit for the “working family child care” credit, which is repealed effective Jan. 2, 2016.

Reports/Materials: Impact of 1997 Legislation: Earned Income and Working Family Child Care Tax Credits in Oregon, Oregon Legislative Revenue Office, December 2004

Addressing the High Cost of Child Care: House Bill 2716, Making the Working Family Child Care Credit Refundable (Executive Summary), Charles Sheketoff and John Lewis, Oregon Center for Public Policy, March 2001

Tax Credits and Maintenance-of-Effort: Using Refundable State Earned Income and Working Family Child Care Credits to Meet Welfare Spending Rules, Charles Sheketoff, Oregon Center for Public Policy, April 1999

Property Tax Circuit Breaker^

Circuit Breaker: Yes, for elderly renters

Refundable: Yes

Eligibility: The filers or the filer’s spouse/registered domestic partner must be at least 58 years old and have a household income below $10,000. Filers must also spend more than 20 percent of their household income for rent, fuel, and utilities and rent a property in Oregon. Filers between age 58 and 65 must have less than $25,000 in total assets

Formula: The Oregon Department of Revenue uses two distinct methods to calculate the credit and awards the more valuable result to each filer. Filers receive either 100 percent of the difference between 20 percent of their household income and property taxes due, not to exceed $2,100 or a credit calculated using the following table.

Income

Credit Amount

$0 – 499

$250

$500 – 999

$245

$1,000 – 1,499

$238

$1,500 – 1,999

$228

$2,000 – 2,499

$217

$2,500 – 2,999

$205

$3,000 – 3,499

$192

$3,500 – 3,999

$179

$4,000 – 4,499

$165

$4,500 – 4,999

$151

$5,000 – 5,499

$136

$5,500 – 5,999

$121

$6,000 – 6,499

$106

$6,500 – 6,999

$91

$7,000 – 7,499

$77

$7,500 – 7,999

$63

$8,000 – 8,499

$50

$8,500 – 8,999

$38

$9,000 – 9,499

$27

$9,500 – 9,999

$18

1 While graduated, the tax threshold is low and most taxpayers pay under the first three brackets (5-7-9 percent). Oregon added new brackets for high income taxpayers in 2009. For tax years 2009, 2010 and 2011, there are two new tax brackets, at 10.8 and 11 percent. In 2012 and after, those two are replaced with a single higher bracket at 9.9 percent. For more information, see the Oregon Department of Revenue Website: Measures 66 and 67

2 Oregon Working Family Child Care Credit: Information for Parents and Guardians, Oregon Department of Revenue, June 2009