School Tax – Tax Breaks for Giving


In Arizona, it is commonplace to be hit up by children selling wrapping paper, candy bars, and coupon books to help raise funds for equipment, trips, and other school programs. Another way for taxpayers to help children in the local schools, is available, though and would give a higher yield return on your state taxes than the purchase of a tub of cookie dough will.

A tax credit of up to $200 for individuals and $400 for a couple married and filing jointly for contributions of cash to a charter or public school exists as the Tax Credit program of Arizona and reimburses you for your support of extracurricular activities. Support can also go towards character education programs.

This is not just a tax-deductible contribution that comes of your adjusted gross income, but rather a dollar for dollar credit against any taxes owed to Arizona.

As an example, let’s say a person found after completing a state tax return they would owe $300 but they made a $200 donation to a school or its district for $200 to support extracurricular activities, their net tax owed would plummet to $100.

Contributors should check the federal guidelines and tax laws or consult a tax preparer for additional details, but in most cases, your contribution is also eligible to claim on federal taxes.

To take advantage of the program, one does not need to live in a particular district or have an child enrolled in school. Contributors can earmark a certain school or program to apply the funds or leave the decision up to the district to funnel the money into the areas that are most lacking or pressing in their needs.

How to Contribute
Most schools in the district or district offices will accept donations until winter break. After winter break, most schools will accept contributions in their district offices, by mail, by phone or online via secure sites. Some districts stay open December 30 and 31 to accrue last minute donations by those seeking to meet the tax write off deadline.

The elementary school district Business Manager Wendy Qualls of Litchfield says, “If mailing it in, make sure it’s postmarked by December 31.” West Valley View district offers a simple form for making a donation to any public school within the sate, and the accompanying links will have links for making donations, as well.

Contributions eligible for tax credits can also be made to private schools via an organization that provides students with scholarships. Married couples filing jointly can contribute a maximum of $1,000. Rules for single taxpayers or those filing head of household allow contributions up to $500.

If you have questions about where or how to make contributions, they should be directed to the school or the district.

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