Tax credit donations

Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady, his wife, Karla, stand to the left of Autumn Boyle-Robinson, executive director of the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of the Colorado River, and David Cummings, head of the Bullhead City Fire District Board, as Karla Brady and Cummings each hand her donation checks. People with state tax debt are being asked to consider making donations to qualifying local groups. Doing so might reduce one’s state tax while benefitting such groups. Ask a tax professional to determine whether doing so might help you when you file your state taxes.

BULLHEAD CITY — The Arizona Charitable Tax Credit allows donations of up to $400 for an individual and $800 for a couple to be included in the 2017 Arizona income tax filing. This one-to-one credit can help a local organization and potentially reduce one’s tax liability.

Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady pointed out that the credit allows donors to receive a dollar-for-dollar return for their charitable investment when they declare the donation on their 2017 state tax filings. 

“This is a no-brainer,” Brady said. “Everybody should do this.”

Brady and his wife, Karla, made an $800 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River on Monday. They will seek a charitable tax credit for the full amount in their joint tax filing. 

“It’s a way to keep your tax dollars here in your community,” Karla Brady said.

David Cummings, head of the Bullhead City Fire District Board, made a $400 contribution to the Boys & Girls Clubs as an individual tax filer.

Not all charitable organizations qualify as credit-worthy, however. Arizona Department of Tax Revenue standards require that organizations do such things as spend 50 percent of their budgets on qualified Arizona residents and meet immediate basic needs. It has to be exempt from federal income taxes under certain conditions, such as 501(c)(3) status.

Several of the organizations on the list of about 800 groups across the state are local. Taxpayers can choose from any of the groups. To see the list online, go to www.azdor.gov/Portals/0/RefundCredits/

CertifiedCharities2017.pdf.

Among the local agencies listed:

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Colorado River, 763-1411
  • Bridges to Recovery, 758-7913
  • Bullhead City Lions Club, 514-5236
  • Bullhead City Meals on Wheels, 758-1538 
  • Mohave Valley Clothe A Child Foundation, 754-5509
  • The Salvation Army — Bullhead City-Laughlin, 758-3141
  • The River Fund, 702-298-0611 (offices in Laughlin and Bullhead City)

A local tax preparer suggested people seeking the credit consult with their own tax preparer to find out whether it will best benefit them this year or, perhaps, when they file their 2018 state return next year.

“Everyone’s situation is different,” said Paul Bull, a Bullhead City CPA who gives tax presentations to community groups. “It will help an organization you care about.”

But, he also stressed, it’s a tool that allows taxpayers some say in how their money is used.

“You still owe a thousand dollars — no matter what,” he said of a hypothetical scenerio. “It cannot ultimately generate a refund but can reduce one’s tax liability.”

While unused amounts can be used the next year, one never knows whether a credit will exist in the future, Bull stressed.

Autumn Boyle-Robinson, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River, explained that her organization relies on donations to help pay for programs, operations and other needs.

“Eight-hundred dollars will pay for summer scholarships for six kids,” she said. “Or many other things. Field trips, transportation, utility bills — everything costs money.”

There are other credits that cover donations for foster care, private school tuition organizations and public school extracurricular activities. The maximum amounts vary for each.

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