Frequently Asked Questions

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Tax credit related

What is a tax credit? How do I claim it on my tax form?

A tax credit reduces what you owe the State of Oregon. It’s a much greater savings than a deduction, which only reduces the income on which you are taxed.

Claim the credit for your 100% of your Trust donation – as long as you’ve made equal or greater contributions to any number of 1,300 qualifying nonprofits -- near the end of the tax form, after you’ve figured all your deductions and other tax implications, and just before you tally what you owe the State of Oregon.

If it appears you owe $200 in Oregon taxes but you made a $100 contribution to the Cultural Trust before December 31, your final tax bill will only be $100. Oregonians can claim their donation on line 39 of their Oregon Form 40 tax return, or line16 of their Oregon Form 40S tax return. The "identify" code for the Oregon Cultural Trust is 722. Non-Oregon residents who file Oregon Form 40N (individual income tax return for nonresidents) can claim their donation on line 56. The "indentify" code for the Oregon Cultural Trust is the same on both forms: 722.

The tax credit is generous: up to $500 for individual, $1,000 for couples filing jointly, and $2,500 for corporations.

You must have Oregon tax liability in order to claim the tax credit. You can claim the tax credit year after year, but you cannot carry it forward from one year to the next.

If you claimed a deduction on your Schedule A for your contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust, per ORS 315.675, you will have an Oregon addition for the amount you deducted. You will not add back the contribution you made to the other Oregon nonprofit cultural organization(s). This is code addition code 104.

Turbo Tax Users: On the tax credit question, simply check the box that says “Cultural Development Fund of Oregon”, enter the amount of your Oregon Cultural Trust donation and then enter the code “104” when prompted.

Example: Emma contributed $500 to the Oregon nonprofit cultural organization of her choice. She made a $500 matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust. On her Oregon return, Emma will claim a $500 credit for her matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust. If she claims both contributions ($1,000) as an itemized deduction on her Schedule A, she must add back the $500 contribution made to the Oregon Cultural Trust to her income as an Oregon "other addition."

Examples of tax benefits to OCT donors

Turbo Tax Users

Turbo Tax Users: On the tax credit question, simply check the box that says “Cultural Development Fund of Oregon”, enter the amount of your Oregon Cultural Trust donation and then enter the code “104” when prompted.

Is the tax credit available to businesses as well as individuals?

Yes, Oregon C-corporations may take a 100% Oregon tax credit up to a maximum of $2,500 in contributions to the Cultural Trust. If you are an Oregon S-coporation this maximum of $2,500 does not apply.

Are taxpayers entitled to a federal charitable contribution deduction for the gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust as well as to the qualified charity? Where do I go to find out about the "other addition" code 104, also know as 'add back'?

Under IRC Section 170(c)(1), donations to the Oregon Cultural Trust qualify as deductible charitable contributions on the federal tax return. The Tax ID number for the Trust is 93-0621491. However, if you take a deduction for a charitable contribution to the Cultural Trust on your federal income tax return, that amount must be added back to your income on your Oregon income tax return in order to claim the Oregon tax credit.   This is "other addition" code 104. See ORS 315.675.

Making your donation

Do I need to make a donation to a cultural nonprofit to claim the cultural tax credit?

Yes. Total all of your donations, over the year, to one or more of the participating cultural nonprofits and then make a donation to the Cultural Trust in equal amount (i.e. $500 total to OPB, High Desert Museum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Bach Festival and Columbia Arts + $500 to Oregon Cultural Trust). The donation you make for $500 to the Cultural Trust will come back to you dollar for dollar at tax time when you claim your cultural tax credit.

Should I report to the Cultural Trust which cultural nonprofits received our matching donation?

No. The Oregon Cultural Trust does not ask for proof of your cultural nonprofit donations when you are making a donation on our secure website. However, while we do not give official tax advice, we encourage donors to keep all donation paperwork with your tax information, including the donor acknowledgement you receive from the Oregon Cultural Trust.  The State of Oregon Department of Revenue may request proof of a cultural nonprofit donation as part of an audit or as part of a review of your tax credit claim.

May I make my contribution to the Cultural Trust with stock instead of cash?

Yes, the Oregon Cultural Trust has an account within the Oregon State Treasury at the State Street Bank Trust.

The Oregon Cultural Trust is happy to accept contributions of stock. Instructions on making a transfer can be found by clicking here.

Stock transfers usually take several business days to process - and you must contact our office at least one business day prior to making the transfer so we may have it set up. Once we have been notified your broker may implement the transfer for your 2012 tax credit. Once the transfer is complete we will send you a letter acknowledging your contribution.

If you have questions about gifts of stock, contact Shannon Planchon by email or by phone at 503-229-6062.

May I make a contribution from my mutual fund account?

No, we are unable to accept gifts of mutual fund shares.

Can I make a legacy gift to the Cultural Trust?

Yes. Contribute to the Oregon Cultural Trust through your will, trust or annuity plan, and make sure that the Cultural Trust can continue for generations to come. Visit the leave a legacy page to find out more.

Where does my donation go?

Want to learn more about how the Trust works? See what we support to find out how your donations to the Cultural Trust directly supports arts, heritage and humanities in Oregon.

Participating cultural nonprofits

What is required to add a cultural nonprofit to your list of participating nonprofits?

If a non-profit cultural organization is not on the list, this is the information it must submit to be considered:

  • Proof of headquarters in Oregon; the letterhead should suffice for this
  • A copy of the Internal Revenue Service letter verifying the organizations 501(c)3 tax exempt status
  • A copy of their mission statement and/or bylaws for review to show that the organization operates with a mission and goals where "culture" is central. This means that the purpose of your organization is rooted in the arts, heritage, history, historic preservation or the humanities

Please send all materials, with a coverletter via email or via U.S. Mail: 775 Summer Street NE, #200, Salem, OR 97301-1280.

Where can I check on the nonprofit status of an organization to which I donate?

If you have questions about the nonprofit status of an organization to which you donate, use this IRS website to view a nonprofit whose status has been revoked.