Did you know that if you made any contribution to a charter school in Arizona like Tucson International Academy, you can claim it as a school tax credit? The contribution can be in the form of a donation, or payment of fees for your child to participate in an extracurricular activity. Below you’ll find information directly from the Arizona Department of Revenue to help you claim the tax credit you deserve! If you didn’t know about this tax credit in 2013, be sure to keep track of any contributions or paid fees in 2014 so you don’t miss out next year.
15 Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Credits for Charter Schools:
What school tax credits are available to individuals?
An individual may claim a credit for making contributions or paying fees to a public school for support of extracurricular activities or character education programs.
Who may claim the individual school tax credits?
The individual school tax credits are available only to individuals. Partnerships and S-corporations cannot pass these credits through to their partners or shareholders. These credits are also not available to trusts, estates, regular corporations, or S-corporations.
What forms does an individual use to claim these credits?
An individual who makes contributions or pays fees to a public school for support of extracurricular activities or character education programs would use Arizona Form 322 to claim this credit.
Can a taxpayer receive a refund of these credits?
No. The credits may only be used to the extent they reduce a tax liability to zero. Any unused amounts may be carried forward for not more than five consecutive taxable years.
Must a taxpayer have a child in school in order to claim any of these credits?
Is a charter school considered to be a public school or a private school?
A charter school is defined in A.R.S. § 15-101 as a public school. Therefore, a charter school is eligible for the credit for contributions made or fees paid to a public school to support extracurricular activities or character education.
What do I have to do to qualify for this credit?
To qualify for the credit you must make cash or payroll withholding contributions or pay fees to a public school for support of extracurricular activities or for character education programs.
Will I qualify for the credit if I pay fees for my own child to participate in an extracurricular activity or character education program?
Yes, if the fees you pay for your own child to participate in an extracurricular activity or character education program qualify for the credit.
Do contributions I make to the school qualify for the credit?
Yes, if the contributions are in support of extracurricular activities or a character education program.
Must the credit for contributions made or fees paid to a public school be claimed in the year of donation?
What is a character education program?
A character education program is a program defined in A.R.S. § 15-719. Under this statute each district may develop its own course of study for each grade. At a minimum, the character education program must include:
- Instruction in the definition and application of at least six of the following character traits: truthfulness, responsibility, compassion, diligence, sincerity, trustworthiness, respect, attentiveness, obedience, orderliness, forgiveness, virtue, fairness, caring, citizenship, and integrity.
- Use of activities, discussions and presentations to illustrate and reinforce the application of the character traits.
- Presentations by teachers or mentors who demonstrate the character traits. What public schools and grades are eligible for the credit? Public schools and charter schools that provide instruction in grades kindergarten through 12 are eligible for the credit. Nongovernmental schools, pre- schools, community colleges, and universities do not qualify for the credit.
What is a fee paid for the support of extracurricular activities?
A fee is a dollar amount paid to a public school for the support of extracurricular activities. It is important to note that at least some monetary amount must be levied to participate in an extracurricular activity in order for the credit to be available.
What are extracurricular activities?
Extracurricular activities are school sponsored activities that require enrolled students to pay a fee in order to participate. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, use of band uniforms, use of equipment or uniforms for varsity athletics, use of scientific laboratory equipment or materials, or in-state or out-of- state trips that are solely for competitive events. Extracurricular activities do not include any senior trips or events that are recreational, amusement or tourist activities. Generally, any optional, noncredit, educational or recreational activities that supplement the education program of the school are considered to be extracurricular activities. A.R.S. § 15-342.24 requires each district school board to determine which activities are extracurricular and what fees will be levied. Fees must not exceed the actual costs of the activity. Fees for the use of scientific or other equipment must be optional and not part of a course taken for credit.
What is an enrolled student?
An enrolled student is a student included by the school in its average daily membership count (ADM). Pre- school students, except handicapped students, and adult education students should not be included.
Must a public school issue a receipt to the taxpayer for contributions or payment of extracurricular activity fees?
Yes. The receipt should include the public school name, school district name and number, taxpayer name and address, amount paid, date paid, and a description of the activity being supported.
All tax questions and answers above were taken from:
The Arizona Department of Revenue at: Click here to view document
For additional information you can call toll free:
or write to:
Arizona Department of Revenue Taxpayer Information & Assistance
PO Box 29086
Phoenix AZ 85038-9086
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