Donor FAQ: Arizona Tax Credit Donation Program

How does this work?

Arizona’s tax credit program allows you to give to non-profit organizations and public schools at no cost. For every dollar you give, your state taxes are reduced by a dollar. In effect, you donate your tax money early to charities and schools instead of sending it to the state.

We at RISE Tutoring strongly believe in building sustained partnerships and leveraging our resources to benefit the communities we serve. As such, in conjunction with our own fundraising efforts, we also collect donations for Valencia Newcomer School, our local partner school that serves newly arrived refugee students.

The maximum donation to charitable organizations is $400 for those filing individually and $800 for married couples. The respective limits for donations to public schools are $200 and $400. These limits are separate and do not count against each other. Therefore, the maximum possible donation for a couple is $800 + $400 = $1200.


Who is eligible to donate?

All Arizona taxpayers are eligible. You do not need to have a child enrolled in a school or live within the boundaries of its district to donate to it.


How much paperwork will I need to fill out?

2 to 4 short forms, depending on when you donate and whether you donate to both RISE and Valencia Newcomer School. All of the forms below, as well as instructions and additional helpful documents, can be found at riseaztutoring.org/donationforms.

  • Form 301: General tax credit form to be completed for either donation.

  • Form 321: Qualifying charitable organization form for donations to RISE.

  • Form 322: Public school form for donations to Valencia Newcomer School.

  • Form 140, 140PY, 140NR, or 140X: Needs to be adjusted if you donate during the period from the start of the new year to Tax Day (typically April 15th) and apply the tax credit to the previous year. (See “Is there a deadline for donating?” below.) For example, a donation made on February 14th, 2019 that is applied to the 2018 tax year will require an adjustment of the 2019 Form 140.

We are happy to help with any tax or paperwork questions you may have. Simply contact us at outreach@riseaz.us.


How much do I have to donate to claim a tax credit?

There is no minimum required donation. You can give any amount up to the maximum and the amount of state taxes you owe will be reduced by that amount (unless you donate more than your state tax liability—see “What if I donate more than I owe in state taxes?” below).


Is there a deadline for donating?

No. You can donate up to and even on Tax Day (typically April 15th). For tax purposes, donations made from the start of the new year until Tax Day are considered to have been made on the last day of the previous year. For example, a donation made on February 14th, 2019 that is applied to the 2018 tax year is effectively made on December 31st, 2018.


How long will it take me to get my money back?

If you are not expecting a tax refund, then you will receive your money back immediately when you pay your taxes. The tax credit donation reduces the amount of state taxes you owe dollar-for-dollar. For example, if you owe $500 and donate $400, you will only have to pay $100 in taxes and include the donation paperwork with your return.

If you are expecting a tax refund, the length of time will depend on how you file your taxes. For those filing online, the IRS states that 90% of tax returns will be processed within 21 days. For those filing by mail, the processing time is 6 to 8 weeks after the IRS receives your tax return.


Who should I direct payment to?

For donations to RISE, checks should be made out to “AMWA RISE Tutoring.” We are a program of the American Muslim Women’s Association and they forward 100% of your donations to us.

AMWA:
QCO code: 20875
Check mailing address: P.O. Box 7505
Chandler, AZ 85246

For donations to Valencia Newcomer School, checks should be made out to “Valencia (Alhambra Elementary School District No. 68).”

Valencia:
CTDS number: 07-04-68-117
Form to be attached with Valencia check donation (only the left third of the first page is necessary): bit.ly/2GB1o9f

When will I receive a receipt for my donation?

We will provide you with a physical receipt by mail within 10 business days of your donation or a digital receipt within 5 business days of your donation at your preference. For donations to Valencia Newcomer School, receipts are mailed within 1 week of the district receiving your check.



What if I don’t want to donate by check or cash?

You can pay with any major credit card, PayPal, or Venmo through our donation page at riseaztutoring.org/donate. However, note that if you do choose to donate by credit card or PayPal, 2.9% + 30¢ of your donation will be lost to payment processing fees. This is not the case for donations made by check, cash, or through Venmo.

Donations to Valencia Newcomer School can be made with a credit card through riseaztutoring.org/DonateToValencia. However, the note in the previous paragraph also applies to donations made this way.

Does the tax credit apply to federal taxes?

No. The Arizona tax credit program is a state program and applies only to taxes owed to the state.

What if I donate more than I owe in state taxes?

This is not a problem, as tax credits carry forward for 5 years. For example, the 2018 tax credit forms also have fields for donations made in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. In addition, unused credits do not count against the next year’s tax credit refund limit. For example, a couple who donated the maximum to both RISE and Valencia Newcomer School (for a total of $800 + $400 = $1200) and only owed $1000 in state taxes would have $200 in unrefunded tax credits. Their maximum tax credit refund for the next year would then by increased by that amount for a total of $1200 + $200 = $1400.

What if I’ve already used my tax credit donation for this tax year?

You can still donate. Contributions made in the period from the start of the new year until Tax Day (typically April 15th) can be applied to taxes on either the current or preceding year. For example, a donation made on February 14th, 2019 can be applied to either 2018 or 2019 taxes—but not both.

If I normally get a tax refund, can I still donate?

Yes. If you owe state taxes, donating will simply increase your tax refund. For example, consider the case of someone who owes $500 in state taxes and expects a refund of $100 (indicating that they have overpaid for their taxes by $100). If she or he made a $300 tax credit donation to RISE, the expected tax refund of $100 becomes $100 + $300 = $400.


Do I have to itemize my deductions to donate?

No. The tax credit applies whether you itemize deductions or take the standard deduction.


Can I claim my donation as a deduction on my federal or state taxes?

No. Donations claimed as a tax credit cannot also be listed as deductions.



Last updated Feb. 11th, 2019