Arizona residents can give money to the public school of their choice, including charter schools, and get it all back—and then some. For the giver and the recipient, it’s essentially free money. Here’s how it works:
The Arizona tax credit program (A.R.S. 43-1089.01) allows a tax credit of up to $200 for individuals and up to $400 for married couples, filing jointly, to support extracurricular activities, according to the Deer Valley Unified School District. Your tax credit donation goes directly to the school you choose, not to the state or district.
The setup aims to support after school and summer programs, field trips, music and athletic programs or any other extracurricular activity that may not be funded by the schools.
The tax credit reduces your tax burden to the state of Arizona, dollar for dollar — if you give $400, you pay $400 less in taxes. (That’s different from a tax-deductible donation, which reduces your tax burden by only a portion of the amount donated). The Arizona tax credit donation also reduces your taxable income to the federal government, by about 1/3 of your donation for most taxpayers, according to DVUSD.
To take advantage of the tax credit for the 2017 tax year, you can make your donation before the end of the year or anytime up to April 15, 2018.
Tax credit donations to DVUSD schools can be submitted online here for K-6, K-8 and Middle Schools. Click here for donations at high schools. Or, forms can be picked up at your school, or downloaded here, and you can mail the check in. Your tax credit receipt will be mailed back to you.
To give to a charter school, ask the specific school for forms and instructions.