Every year, the holiday season also ushers in the beginning of the tax season as the year winds down to a close. While paying taxes isn’t on the top of anyone’s favorite to-do list, Arizona has a special Tax Credit program that, seriously, almost makes it feel good.
The annual Arizona Tax Credit Program is designed so that you can redirect your owed State of Arizona taxes to a qualifying charity of your choice—meaning you can support your favorite cause, including those in your own community. Up to $800 for married couples filing jointly, or $400 for single heads of households or married filing separately, can be redirected from your owed State taxes. And, you get to decide where your tax dollars go!
This individual income tax credit is available for contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations that provide immediate basic needs to residents of Arizona who receive temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits, are low income residents of Arizona, or are individuals who have a chronic illness or physical disability. In addition, there is a tax credit available for Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations that meet the same criteria. For the Foster Care tax credit, the maximum credit allowed is $1,000 for married filing joint filers and $500 for single, heads of household, and married filing separate filers. All qualified organizations have been assigned a code for purposes of the tax credit—be sure you ask for and identify what the code is for your selected organization. A list of qualifying charities is available at: azdor.gov/tax-credits/contributions-qcos-and-qfcos.
And the news gets even better–you can contribute to a qualified charity and still contribute to a school’s tax credit program. You can choose to redirect your taxes to several categories, just be sure you stay within the maximum amount allowed to contribute to the cause of your choice. For more general information about the Arizona Tax Credit program visit: azdor.gov/tax-credit.
The Sedona Community Center, a qualifying charitable organization, utilizes the Arizona Tax Credit contributions to keep the Meals on Wheels and other crucial human services going strong in our community. The troubling statistics on aging and hunger may surprise you—
- 1 in 5 Americans is 60 or older.
- Over 12% of Arizona homes with people aged 60 and above face food insecurity—higher than the national average of 9.5%.
- These Seniors face daily difficult choices like running out of food, choosing between food and medicine, skipping meals, high medical costs, and failing health due to poor nutrition.
- The majority of people who die of suicide in Arizona are 65 and older.
- Yavapai County has the highest suicide rate in Arizona.
Though these facts are sobering, it’s great to say that, through community support, the Sedona Community Center’s robust program helps to prevent crisis and despair that may otherwise exist. The Vital Food Services not only ensure homebound Seniors receive hot, delivered lunches Monday through Friday, we also provide weekly bagged food for the weekends. The benefit of the ‘human touch’ is very real—Meals on Wheels recipients say the friendly, smiling faces of the Volunteer Drivers are as important as the food they bring. To cover all bases, compassionate Telecare Callers make calls 365 days a year to ensure isolated Seniors know someone cares. There’s even a Pet Food Project—for Meals on Wheels recipients who have a pet—that ensures their trusted companion also gets fed.
Did you ever imagine that your tax dollars could do so much here in your own community? If you owe Arizona taxes, I encourage you to check into the Arizona Tax Credit program. Then, pick the causes that mean the most to you and help out your neighbors and friends. You can find out more about the Sedona Community Center’s Tax Credit appeal at SedonaSeniorTax.org.