Donating 101

Posted: November 20, 2015

Did you know that you can donate to a School Tuition Organization and take a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on your state taxes? Only about 3% of Arizona taxpayers do. We are here to uncover the best-kept secret: a donation that benefits the recipient and the donor! Here is everything you need to know about making a donation to APESF. As always, we are available to answer any questions at helpdesk@apesf.org or by phone at (480) 699-8911.

WHY DONATE?

  • To have a say in where your Arizona state tax dollars go AND receive a federal deduction.
  • To help a family send their kid(s) to the school where they can thrive and be successful.

It’s a win-win!

WHEN CAN I DONATE?

Any time! To take the credit on your 2015 state taxes, donate between now and April 15, 2016. A contribution made from January 1 to April 15, 2016, can be used as a tax credit on either a 2015 or 2016 Arizona income tax return. For a federal tax deduction, you must donate during the tax year for which you wish to take the deduction, making the deadline December 31st each year.

HOW TO DONATE:

1. DETERMINE YOUR STATE TAX LIABILITY.
How much will you owe Arizona at the end of the year? Remember to factor in what you’ve already paid through withholding and similar programs. Just because you receive a refund does not mean you cannot donate. You must find out what you actually owe to the state of Arizona at the end of the year, regardless of what you have already paid. Review real-life examples.

2. DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU CAN DONATE.
The program maximums (the maximum amounts for which you can take a credit in a given tax year) are listed below. You can carry unused credit forward for up to five years. (Unused credit is anything you donated up to the maximum that you couldn’t actually use, most often due to a lower-than-expected tax liability.) Anything beyond the maximum is considered a charitable contribution!2015 Tax Credit Maximums

3. MAKE YOUR DONATION.
We accept donations by credit card (online) or check (download form). APESF & state law allow you to recommend that a particular student or school benefit from your generous donation. To recommend a school or student, simply fill in that portion of the donor form as desired.

4. FILE YOUR RECEIPT.
All online donors will receive a receipt immediately via email, and all donations made by mail will be processed within two weeks.

5. CLAIM YOUR CREDIT.
In order to claim the tax credit for your donation, you must file Arizona tax forms 301 and 323 along with your Arizona income tax forms. If you make an Overflow/PLUS/Switcher donation, you must also file Arizona tax form 348. These forms (and instructions) can be downloaded here. Please consult your tax preparer with further questions.

APESF values YOU and your support of school choice in Arizona – THANK YOU!

A.R.S. 43-1089 NOTICE: A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.

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