Oregon Office of Rural Health

Rural Practitioner Tax Credit Program FAQ's

Rural Practitioner Tax Credit Program FAQ's

The following information does not apply for the Oregon Rural Volunteer EMSP Tax Credit.

How soon after I submit my application or renewal can I expect a response?

You can expect to receive confirmation of your eligibility within six weeks (but probably sooner) during the months of January, February, and March and within two weeks the rest of the year.

How soon after I receive confirmation of my credit may I file my state return?

Due to software used by the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR), there must be a lag in time from the date ORH processes & submits your credit information to DOR to when it is okay for you to file your return. If you file prior to the date specified on your ORH confirmation, you could run the risk of the DOR software automatically denying your claim for the credit because the DOR system might not yet have recorded the ORH submission.

Please wait for 48 hours to pass after confirmation before claiming the credit on your state taxes.

How much is this credit worth?

For tax years through 2015, up to $5,000.

For tax years beginning with 2016 (and measured in a straight line, not road miles):

  • 10-20 miles from the centroid of a community with a population of 40,000 or more = $3,000
  • 20-50 miles from the centroid of a community with a population of 40,000 or more = $4,000
  • 50+ miles from the centroid of a community with a population of 40,000 or more = $5,000

If an eligible practitioner meets the criteria of more than one tier, the maximum possible credit would be that of the higher tier.

These tiers represented as a spreadsheet Excel | PDF, and as a map.

How do I apply?

Request an application from Eric Jordan: jordane@ohsu.edu. Please specify in your request:

  • Your licensure type: MD, DO, NP, PA, CRNA, DPM, DMD, DDS, or OD
  • Where it is that you practice in Oregon (example: Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria)
  • When it was that you began practicing at the above site/s

Do I need to renew for the credit every year?

Yes. Once your initial application has been received and your practice is determined eligible, every January you will automatically be sent a renewal by postal mail to your home address. Please inform our office if you change your home address. If you claim the credit on your tax return without submitting an application or renewal, the Department of Revenue will deny the credit.

Is there an application fee?

Yes. The fee is $45.00 per year.

When is this tax credit due to sunset?

The program's sunset date is December 31, 2021. Should the program be discontinued at that time, a taxpayer who meets the eligibility requirements for tax year 2021, could be allowed the credit through tax year 2030, as long as they maintain all eligibility requirements.

Is there a deadline for submitting an application?

Not specifically. Although new applications and renewals are mailed to practitioners in January of each year, they can be returned at anytime throughout the year without penalty. However, remember to allow at least four weeks for a confirmation of eligibility. If your application or renewal is not received in a timely manner, you may not receive confirmation before the filing deadline in time to claim the credit on your tax return.

I just heard about the credit, but have been practicing in an eligible area for years. May I apply for prior years?

Yes. You may apply for the credit retroactively and, if determined eligible, can file amended Oregon tax returns for up to three years.

Do I have to live in Oregon to qualify for the credit?

No, but you do need to maintain a rural Oregon practice.

Do I have to practice full-time to qualify for the credit?

No, but you must work a minimum of 20 hours per week, averaged over a month's time for a month to be eligible. The credit is proratable for the months where one meets program criteria, deniable for the months where one does not.

I practice in another state as well as in rural Oregon. Could I still be eligible for the credit?

Yes. An out of state practice has no bearing on eligibility for the Oregon tax credit.

I only practiced in rural Oregon for part of the year. Will my credit be pro-rated?

For tax years 2014 and on

One must work a minimum of 20 hours per week, averaged over a month's time for a month to be eligible. The credit is proratable for the months where one meets program criteria, deniable for the months where one does not.

Is on-call time allowed for this credit?

No. The only time allowed for this credit is time spent providing direct medical care to patients. On-call time spent not practicing medicine should not be included in the reported hours. If your shift included on-call time, you will need to be able to report just the hours spent practicing.

Is locum tenens or telemedicine allowed for this credit?

Yes. Locum Tenens has been allowed going back to the earliest amendable tax year, and Telemedicine is allowed beginning with tax year 2014.

For both practices, one must report each site remoted into for telemedicine or visited for Locums Tenens. If it is a patient's home address, PHI applies, so note the street address as "Patient Address" and provide the City, and Zipcode. 

Averaged hours per week in each month are required for this type of work.

Is administrative time eligible for this credit?

Administrative time spent working on active patient care is allowed, say working on patients charts.

What is not allowed is administrative time spent not on direct patient care, such as review board, educational, or other oversight work. Travel time is also not allowable.

May I pay the fee by credit card?

No. The fee must be paid by check or money order.

Once I receive confirmation of eligibility, how do I claim the credit on my tax return?

Contact the Oregon Department of Revenue at 800-356-4222 from January through April or at 503-378-4988 the rest of the year for instructions on how to claim the credit or visit their website.