Remley: Find out about state income tax credits for donations to local charity groups

My how time flies … It’s income tax time again and most of us are anxiously looking forward to finding out how much refund Uncle Sam might have for them this year.

Since income taxes are clearly the topic of the month, I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone of some very special state income tax credits, which are available to us here in Arizona – credits that are not available in any other state.

For those of you who know me, you know that I prepare a substantial number of tax returns each year. This season marks my 52nd year of preparing taxes for other people.

When I moved here in 2004, I was amazed to learn that I could get a $400 tax credit for contributions to the public school of my choice.

I was equally surprised to learn that a $800 state tax credit could also be received for contributions to organizations that assist the working poor.

What is even more amazing is that it costs me literally nothing, because this is a “dollar-for-dollar” tax credit!

In other words, if I donate $400 to a school, I get a $400 reduction in my state income tax.

Hmmm … which would you rather do: pay state income tax or give the money instead to the school?

For most of my clients, the answer is quite simple … give it to the school so they can buy some supplies for our kids.

Here is the icing on the cake – the contributions can be made all the way until Monday, April 15 and you still can take the credit as though you paid it last year.

The school credit is now available for contributions to public and charter schools.

It is limited to $200 for a single person and $400 for a married couple. Any amount greater than those limited is carried forward and used in future years.

The organizations that assist the working poor credit is available for contributions to qualified organizations.

It is limited to $400 for a single person and $800 for a married couple. Excess contributions carry forward just like the school credits.

Editor’s note: Surprise District 4 City Councilman Ken Remley works a day job as a mortgage loan originator and has prepared tax returns seasonally for more than 50 years.



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