Oregon’s ‘Kicker’ Credit: Eligibility and Value Explained


Oregon’s unique ‘Kicker’ tax credit has long been a topic of interest and intrigue for residents of the state. Originally designed as a mechanism to return surplus state revenue to taxpayers, the ‘Kicker’ credit can put money back into the pockets of eligible Oregonians. In this article, we’ll explore who qualifies for the ‘Kicker’ credit, how it works, and what it’s potentially worth to individuals and households.

The ‘Kicker’ Credit: A Brief Overview

The Oregon ‘Kicker’ credit, officially known as the ‘Kicker’ Refund, is a tax rebate program that has been in place since the 1970s. Its primary purpose is to return excess state revenue to taxpayers when actual revenue collection exceeds the state’s economic and revenue forecasts by a specific threshold.

Who Qualifies for the ‘Kicker’ Credit?

To qualify for the ‘Kicker’ credit, you must meet certain criteria:


Oregon Residency: You must be a resident of Oregon to be eligible for the ‘Kicker’ credit. Part-year and full-year residents are both considered.


Filing a Tax Return: You must file an Oregon personal income tax return, typically Form 40, to be considered for the credit. This includes both individual taxpayers and households.


Tax Liability: The ‘Kicker’ credit is only applicable to individuals and households with an Oregon income tax liability for the year in question. If you owe state income tax, you can qualify for the credit.


How the ‘Kicker’ Credit Works

The ‘Kicker’ credit is calculated based on a set formula:


State Revenue Surplus: To trigger the ‘Kicker’ credit, the state’s actual revenue collections must exceed the economic and revenue forecasts by at least 2%. In other words, the state must collect significantly more revenue than initially projected.


Calculation: The credit is calculated as a percentage of your state income tax liability. It typically ranges from 5% to 17% of your tax liability, depending on the size of the surplus.


Refund Process: If you qualify for the ‘Kicker’ credit, you will receive it in the form of a refund when you file your Oregon income tax return for the applicable year. It can be issued as a check or a direct deposit into your bank account.


What’s It Worth?

The value of the ‘Kicker’ credit can vary from year to year, and it is contingent on the size of the state’s revenue surplus. Here’s an overview of what it might be worth:


5-17% of Tax Liability: The percentage of the ‘Kicker’ credit typically falls within this range. If your Oregon income tax liability is $1,000, for example, a 5% ‘Kicker’ credit would be $50, while a 17% credit would be $170.


Varying Yearly Amounts: The value of the ‘Kicker’ credit is not fixed and can change annually based on the state’s financial performance.


Not Guaranteed: It’s important to note that the ‘Kicker’ credit is not guaranteed every year. It is only issued when the state’s revenue collection significantly surpasses its forecasts.


Keep In Mind:


Timely Filing: To receive the ‘Kicker’ credit, you must file your Oregon income tax return for the applicable year on time. Filing extensions may delay your credit.


Check Eligibility: Each year, the Oregon Department of Revenue assesses whether the ‘Kicker’ credit will be issued. Check their website for updates on the status of the credit for the current tax year.


Recent Changes: In recent years, there have been discussions and legislative changes to the ‘Kicker’ program, so it’s important to stay informed about any alterations to the credit.


The Oregon ‘Kicker’ credit provides an opportunity for eligible residents to receive a tax rebate when the state’s revenue collections exceed expectations. While the value of the credit can fluctuate each year, it represents a unique financial benefit for Oregon taxpayers. To take advantage of this credit, make sure to meet the eligibility criteria and file your Oregon income tax return on time. By staying informed about the credit and monitoring updates from the Oregon Department of Revenue, you can potentially receive a ‘Kicker’ credit that puts money back in your pocket.


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