People can donate money and have it COST THEM NOTHING. A tax credit is available against Ohio Income Taxes for $50 for individuals and $100 for married/joint returns. Unlike the more common deduction from taxable income, the Ohio political contributions credit is a dollar-for-dollar full tax credit off the bottom line of your taxes. Candidates for the Ohio Legislature and a few other offices are eligible to accept tax credit dollars. That is how every taxpayer in Ohio can send me $50 or $100 and have it COST THEM NOTHING because they will get the full amount back when they file their tax returns. The credit is on line 55 for 2011 and described on page 31 of the Ohio IT 1040 booklet. Ohio taxpayers have two choices: They can give the money to an eligible candidate, or give the money to the "Ohio Tax Man".
What if a tax professional prepares my tax return?
I send every contributor a receipt with the line number of the credit on it. Simply include your receipt along with your W-2s and other tax documentation that you would normally provide to your tax professional.
Don't I only get a percentage back like a church donation?
No. A charitable donation reduces taxable income. A credit reduces the tax itself dollar-for-dollar.
I don't need the credit because my employer withholdings gets me close to even and I usually get a refund.
A $50 donation for individuals or $100 on married/joint returns will increase your refund.
Why wouldn't all Ohio taxpayers want to take advantage of this credit?
- Very few people know about it.
- Fewer people understand it.
- It is easier to pay the "Ohio Tax Man." The alternative is for taxpayers to: 1) Write a check to "Friends of Becker"; 2) Enter that dollar amount on their Ohio IT 1040.
- Some people live paycheck-to-paycheck and simply do not have any money. (They'll find it by April 15th.)
- Some people prefer paying the "Ohio Tax Man."
How can I be sure that I qualify for the credit?
All Ohio taxpayers qualify. However, very low income people may not have enough taxable income to fully benefit from the credit.
- For tax year 2010, single people with no dependents must have at least $8,200 in taxable income to get their full $50 contribution back
- A single person with one dependent must make at least $9,800. Two dependents requires $10,800.
- A married couple with no dependents must have at least $12,000 in taxable income to fully benefit.
- A married couple with two dependents must make at least $13,600. Four dependents requires $15,200.
That's awesome! If I write you a check for $100 before the end of this year, will I get the credit early next year when I file my tax return?
Yes. For a joint return, $100 is the maximum that is eligible for the credit. Write the check now and you will get the full amount back as soon as you file. Please send it to:
Friends of Becker
925 Locust Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45245-1313
What if I've already given $100 to a qualifying candidate? Can I give another $100 to you and claim a $200 credit on my state income taxes?
No. You can give to more than one candidate, but the maximum for the credit is $100 per married/joint return; not per candidate. However, if you have given, say $25, to a qualifying candidate, you can send me $75 and get the $100 credit on a joint return.
What if I think you're a great guy and I want to give more?
The maximum is $11,543.70 per person (older than 6-years-old), per campaign cycle. Please include the name of your employer for required reporting purposes.