Bullhead City, AZ – “Giving the money to a deserving local charityrather than to State to use on anything in its general fund is the best way to invest in our quality of life,” said JoElle Hurns, Executive Director of the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce. “Look, if you owe the state taxes, they will get it one way or another. If you donate to the charity of your choice – a number of nonprofits from bridge to bridge – you decide to how to meet the needs of ourof residents at risk, our youth programs and our population with disabilities. You get a dollar-for-dollar deduction on your tax bill, even if you don’t itemize.”
Hurns is referring to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, aunique and straight forward way to direct tax dollars back to local communities. Between 2011 and 2016, Arizona donated upwards of $35 million to nonprofits and foster care programs through this allowance.
The Arizona Charitable Tax Credit is intended to spur donations to charitable organizations that provide a significant number of services for Arizona residents experiencing financial insecurity.
For most Americans preparing federal taxes, donations made to charitable organizations offer minimal financial benefits, tax-wise. That is because of the higher standard deduction implemented through the 2018 Congressional changes to the tax code. Charitable giving is not gone from the tax code, but it has been rendered almost useless for all but the wealthiest or most generous taxpayers. With no reason to itemize, charitable giving was down by an estimated $15 billion nationwide last year.
So it is no wonder that a dozen other states are now looking at modeling programs after the Grand Canyon State’s. Charitable and nonprofit organizations make up one of the largest membership segments of the Bullhead Area Chamber. There are a number of local charities that residents can give to including the Colorado River Boys and Girls Club, Bullhead City Lions Club, the Salvation Army and the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council of Mohave County.
If a giver isn’t sure which to choose, Hurns said that the River Fund is a great option because it provides a variety of programs that direct emergency and crisis services to individuals and families in the region. It replaced a once thriving, local United Way that ultimately become too large geographically and spent too much on administrative expenses to be effective in the very area where most of its funding was raised. The River Fund has assisted more than 75,000 people with hardships, using $2.7 million in donations and grants over the past ten years.
The Arizona Charitable Tax Credit is recorded on Form 321 forQualifying Charitable Organizations (QCOs). The maximum credit allowed is $800 for married filing joint filers and $400 for single, heads of household, and married filing separate filers. These tax credits provide dollar-for-dollar tax benefits, allowing taxpayers to reduce their state tax liabilities for each dollar donated to charities, up to the maximum allowable limits. For a list of all of the State’s worthy organization that provide basic needs and immediate assistance log to:
Hurns said making a donation to one of the local organizations and filling out the form should take five minutes. “People have about 3 weeks to do that still. Then file it with your State taxes. It shifts some control away from the State and gives us the power to determine which services are of value to us.”
Please contact the Arizona Department of Revenue for more information or log onto www.azdor.com.