Every year in July the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) auctions tax credits. According to the accountants I work with you can take this credit as a charitable deduction on your federal income taxes and additionally take the tax credit as a tax credit on your state taxes . The tax credits are generally beneficial if you pay Alternative Minimum Tax and can reduce the amount of tax you owe in April by buying in July.
One great way to use these credits could be if you needed to sell non-qualified stock options in say June or July which might create a tax liability when you file for taxes in April 2018. If you met some of the ideal criteria for these tax credits instead of leaving the amount of this tax liability in cash until April you could instead buy tax credits potentially earning a larger gain than you could in a cash investment. The biggest risk being tax law changes for the 2017 year.
Are you the ideal taxpayer to bid on the OPIF Tax Credits?
- You have a 2017 Oregon Tax Liability. Unused credits will carryover for 3 years. But, because of legal risk we recommend using them in the same year.
- Your income is from Oregon exclusively (Multi-state income may impact ability to receive credit for double taxed income)
- You are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (Turns a non-deductible state tax into a deductible charitable contribution)
- You are making Estimated Tax Payments
Facts about the OPIF Auctions:
- A blind Auction - credits are sold in $500 increments
- Minimum bid is $475 for $500 in credit – multiple bids are allowed
- Credits issued to highest bidders first (ties will go to bidder who submitted bid first)
- Payment must be made in the form of a cashier’s check, certified check or money order
- Form TCA needs to be completed and received with Payment by July 21, 2017
- 2015 Auctioned $10 million, 2016 Auctioned $12 million and 2017 looks to be $14 million
Process for the OPIF Tax Credits:
- Determine the appropriate amount of credits that would benefit you by reviewing your tax situation with your accountant (the price you pay for the credits and your specific tax situation will dictate your return).
- Figure out your bidding plan and access the OPIF auction website as early as possible in the auction process to purchase credits. Earlier tied bids are prioritized over later bids in an oversubscribed scenario. The auction was oversubscribed last year.
- Mail your payment and Tax Credit Auction form (OR-TCA) by deadline (July 21nd) to the Department of Revenue
Sample Estimates based on bidding information and a 35% tax bracket and subject to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). This analysis was provided by a 3rd party and CPA:
Historical Bidding Data:
Summary for 2016:
- $12 million in tax credits were available (bids per $500 increment)
Summary for 2015
- $10 million in tax credits were available (bids per $500 increment)
- Average bid: $521
- Highest bid: $525
- Lowest successful bid: $500
- 274 bids were accepted: 200-300 were described as not successful
You can find more information about these credits through the OPIF site.