How Does Arizona’s Public School Tax Credit Work?

The Arizona public school tax credit is a useful tool that allows Arizona taxpayers to choose exactly where some of their tax dollars are spent. Rather than sending a check to the state, you can redirect your tax dollars to directly benefit public school students and their schools. The tax credits are deducted dollar-for-dollar from the state taxes owed and can be donated to any public school in the state (yes, this includes charter schools).

How it works Arizona taxpayers are allowed to use the tax credit to donate up to $200 for single or married-filing-separately taxpayers, or up to $400 for married people who are filing their taxes jointly. This means that if you usually get a refund, it will be bigger, and if you usually owe taxes, you’ll pay less. On top of that, you have the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in students’ lives. If you want to donate to one of the three Pointe schools, North Pointe, Canyon Pointe, or Pinnacle Pointe, you can use this form (link to form) to designate where you want your dollars to go.

Donors get to choose where their Arizona school tax credit goes (we recommend a Pointe School, naturally!). A person doesn’t have to reside in the same district, or have a student at the school to make a tax credit donation. The donor can also designate the money for a specific purpose or program.

The public school tax credit used to be called the extracurricular tax credit because donations could only be spent on extracurricular activities and character education, which meant it couldn’t be used to impact regular instruction. As of June 2019, Arizona taxpayers can make tax credit donations for capital expenses (items listed in section A.R.S. § Title 15-903, subsection C paragraphs 2 through 8).

Examples of qualifying tax credit items and programs: Extracurriculars (supplemental activities outside of the regular school day like athletics and plays), athletic equipment, band instruments, character education, standardized testing fees for college credit or readiness, playground equipment, student consumable healthcare supplies, student transportation, furniture, computer software

Donation Deadline April 15 (for previous tax year). Arizona Taxpayers don’t have to make the donation by the end of the calendar year in order to take the credit for that year. Donations made through April 15th of the current year can be taken as tax credits for the previous tax year. That means it isn’t too late to make a tax credit donation to reduce how much you owe on your 2019 taxes!

Take a few moments to sit down with your tax professional and discuss the financial and educational benefits of donating to a local Arizona school. Of course, you’ll be limited by how much you owe (for example, if your tax liability is under $400, you won’t receive the difference between your donation and your tax liability).

Arizona residents may also donate items that may qualify for a tax deduction to schools like sports equipment and musical instruments; however, only cash/checks qualify for the tax credit.

Benefits of the tax credit When you donate to schools, you provide additional opportunities for students. Students graduating from high school with a well-rounded education benefit our entire society. Pointe Schools connects deeply with this mission, and is committed to providing students with opportunities to excel in academics, athletics, arts, and activities. Whether it’s providing students with opportunities to experience being part of a team, helping a gifted student learn to play music, or giving a high school student the opportunity to earn college credit, we are committed to being there for our students. In 1999, our nonprofit charter schools were developed in order to give all students, regardless of their financial situation, access to a safe school where they are known and challenged to become more than they are when they start with us. It’s our goal to give each student the tools they need to succeed in life, and every donation helps. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can benefit from the Arizona school tax credit and help a Pointe school by making a taxpayer donation, or if you’d like to enroll your student in one of our schools, call us today. North Pointe Prep (grades 7-12) opened in 2001. In 2002, we opened Canyon Pointe Academy (grades K-6) and Pinnacle Pointe Academy (grades K-6). From the beginning of their academic career to their first year of college, we want to help your child grow and hone their passions and strengths!

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