Tax Credit Contributions Help You Help the Community

04/12/2017, By Valley of the Sun United Way

By: Jerry Fuentes, President, Arizona/New Mexico AT&T Inc.

They say that two things in life are inevitable — death and taxes.

But what if I told you the “taxes” part has a twist? One that allows you to direct your dollars to a charity of your choice that serves the working poor?

Arizona's qualified charity tax credit allows you to do just that. It can have a positive effect on your state and federal tax returns while allowing you to direct funds to local causes instead of the state's general fund.

How does it work?

It’s pretty simple.

Make a contribution to a charity certified as an Arizona Qualified Charity, with limits of $400 per person or $800 per married couple. These qualified charities must provide services that meet the basic needs of Arizonans who are struggling, including providing food, housing or community services.

When you do, you become eligible for a dollar-for-dollar credit on your state taxes. In other words, the amount you donate comes directly off your tax bill to the State of Arizona.

And, you can count the contribution toward your federal taxes as well — which actually saves you money that you would otherwise owe the federal government.

This year, the Arizona Legislature extended the deadline for these contributions right up to tax day on April 17, so you can still apply these contributions to your 2016 state tax return (although the federal deduction would count for the 2017 tax year).

So, if you’re working on your taxes right now — and there’s a good chance you are — there’s never been a better time to take advantage of these contributions.

Now — what should you give to?

The State of Arizona keeps directories of eligible organizations, and these organizations have to meet certain criteria to be eligible so that you can be assured they are worthy of support.

At Valley of the Sun United Way, we qualify as a charity who may receive Arizona Charitable Tax Credit contributions. Our campaign eligible for tax credit contributions is called the Helping The Working Poor Fund.

Any organization you give to is worthy of support, but by donating to Valley of the Sun United Way, you have an opportunity to make a broad impact on the community.

That's because the United Way works with organizations throughout the community to tackle some of the biggest issues we face — homelessness, hunger, education and ensuring families are financially stable. We use these contributions to not only fund programs we provide directly but partnerships that stretch throughout the Valley.

So yes, death and taxes are the two things in life you can count on. But the taxes part has changed here in Arizona, and we now have an opportunity to use these tax credits to make our community a better place to live.

We encourage you to take that opportunity. And if you would like to support United Way, visit www.vsuw.org/taxcredit.

Get My Tax Credit!
Jerry is a Board Member of Valley of the Sun United Way and President of Arizona/New Mexico AT&T, Inc. He serves also as Chairman of the Public Policy & Advocacy Committee for United Way.
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