For residents who want to make a positive impact on extracurricular activities at an Ahwatukee Foothills school all it takes is a little patience and they will get the money back in their 2010 tax return.
As the 2010 deadline for tax credit donations rolls closer, districts such as Kyrene and Tempe Union High School, as well as charter and Montessori schools are asking residents to file their tax credit donation by Dec. 31.
Single taxpayers can donate up to $200 for public schools, including charter, and $500 to a qualified school tuition organization for scholarships to private schools. Married taxpayers that file a joint return can donate $400 to public and $1,000 to a qualified tuition organization. Any amount up to the maximum can be deducted when filing a 2010 state tax return.
So if a taxpayer is getting back $1,000 from the state but they also donated $200 to their school of choice, that person would instead get back $1,200.
Residents can donate to any school that qualifies, no matter where their child goes or if they even have a child.
For those who want to be extra generous, residents can get credit for making donations to both public schools and a qualified tuition organization for private schools.
Tax credit donations can be used toward any character education program and extra curricular activities, including field trips and after-school clubs. Tax credit forms are available through a school's website or at the administrative office. In the case of public school districts such as Kyrene and TUHSD, taxpayers must designate which school they want the money to benefit. It is not required to designate a specific program.
If a program is not specified, the money could go to assist students who may not be able to afford a club fee or band trip, for example.
Taxpayers need Arizona Form 322 to claim the credit for a public school donation and Arizona Form 323 for donating to a qualified school tuition organization.
Last year Kyrene received $1.737 million from tax credit donations, up from $1.714 million in 2008. TUHSD received $1.047 million in 2009, down slightly from the $1.104 collected in 2008.
The Kyrene district and TUHSD offices will be open on Dec. 31 again to accept last-minute donations. District spokeswoman Linda Littell said TUHSD received about $40,000 on Dec. 31 last year.
This year TUHSD will accept donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its offices, 500 W. Guadalupe Road. Kyrene, 8700 S. Kyrene Road, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.