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School donation tax credit deadline Friday

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School donation tax credit deadline Friday

  • The Canyon del Oro High School marching band, 2008.
    Lance and Erin/FlickrThe Canyon del Oro High School marching band, 2008.

If you have any extra post-holiday cash taking up space in your wallet, there are some Arizona schoolchildren who could use some support (if you're not donating it to your local nonprofit independent news website, that is ; )

Friday is the deadline to receive dollar-for-dollar state tax credits and federal deductions for donations for donations to public schools and private school tuition funds.

A 2010 state tax credit will be available for private school tuition contributions made until April 15, but to receive federal tax benefits you must donate by the end of the year.

Donations and fees paid to public schools must support extracurricular activities or character education programs to be eligible for the credit. Examples include band uniforms, athletic and scientific equipment, and trips for competitions.

Fees paid to allow a specific child to participate in extracurricular activites are eligible. Credits may be claimed for donations to more than one public school.

Private school tuition donations must be made to qualifying organizations to be eligibile for a tax credit. Organizations must be tax exempt and allocate at least 90 percent of their revenue to students at more than one qualifying private school.

Donations may be targeted to a specific student, but not for a dependent of the person applying for the tax credit. Beginning in 2011, donors may not "swap" contributions with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer's own dependents.

Single taxpayers can receive a tax credit of up to $200 for public school donations. Married couples filing a joint return can receive a credit of up to $400.

Private school tuition credits are eligible for up to a $500 tax credit for singles. Up to $1,000 is possible for a joint return.

The tax credits are available to all Arizona taxpayers, including those without children in school.

See the Arizona Department of Revenue's Publication 707: School Tax Credits for more information.

Local public school districts

Disclosure: Dylan Smith’s wife is a teacher in the Tucson Unified School District.

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