Calculating Your Credit
To maximize your donation, donate as close to your expected liability for the year as possible. You can determine an approximate liability by looking at last year’s taxes, or you can calculate your exact liability between January and April and still make a donation for the previous tax year because the deadline to give is April 18th, 2022, for the 2021 tax year. On Arizona Form 140, the subtotal of your tax liability is on line 48 (minus line 49 & 50 if applicable), and you fill in your tax credits on line 51.
Reviewing Your Refund
Your refund is determined by how much you overpay to the state throughout the year. If you are trying to determine whether you will receive a refund in a given year, first you must determine how much you will pre-pay (or have pre-paid) in taxes for that year. A refund is only possible if the sum of your pre-paid taxes and your donation is more than your liability.
Most people who donate end up with some form of refund because they pre-pay in taxes out of their paycheck throughout the year and then also make a tax credit donation, meaning they double-pay on their taxes (in a sense). Making a tax credit donation does not necessarily guarantee a refund, but it may cause you to end up with one.
Determining Your Deduction
If you cannot take a state tax credit, please consider making a charitable gift (Deadline for Federal Tax Deduction: December 31st). If you’ve ever taken both the state credit and federal deduction, please read here for more information. Always consult your tax advisor for eligibility requirements.