Taxpayers can get a direct tax credit by donating to several area charities certified by the state as benefiting the working poor.
The Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit is similar to the Credit for Kids tax credit to help schools. Taxpayers filing as “single” and “head of household” status may claim a maximum credit of $200; those filing as “married filing separate” may claim a maximum credit of $200; and taxpayers that file as “married filing joint” may claim a maximum credit of $400.
These credits can be claimed in addition to any contribution made to the Credit for Kids programs that assist Rim Country schools.
Starting with the 2013 tax year, you do not have to itemize deductions to claim a credit for contributions to a qualifying charitable organization. For 2012 and prior, you had to itemize deductions on your Arizona return to claim the credit.
Make donations by Dec. 31, 2013 for either program for a credit on your 2013 tax bill.
Some local groups are under the umbrellas of regional entities. For instance the area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters group is part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, (602) 264-2447.
The list of organizations that taxpayers may donate to in order to receive the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit/Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit include:
• Payson Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc., which works to provide affordable housing and makes improvements to owner-occupied homes of Northern Gila County residents with low to moderate incomes, (928) 474-0330.
• Payson Christian Clinic, which provides medical care, counseling, nutrition and specialist care for the medically underserved of the Rim Country, (928) 468-2209.
• Payson Community Kids, Inc., which provides after school programs, tutoring and more for area children in need, (928) 978-3256.
• Payson Helping Payson, a group that helps pay bills for people facing eviction, loss of their electricity, loss of their cars and medical emergencies, (928) 468-9028.
• Payson Lions Charitable Foundation serves the needs of Payson and surrounding communities with eye exams, glasses, hearing assistance and other community services, (928) 474-2176.
• Payson Senior Center, which provides group meals, education and social activities for area seniors, anchors the Meals on Wheels program, provides transportation services and more, (928) 474-4876.
• Pine Strawberry Food Bank, which provides groceries to those in need in the Pine and Strawberry areas, (928) 476-3579.
• Rim Country Rotary Foundation, benefits educational institutions and related activities, focusing specifically on scholarships, student financial aid services, awards programs, (928) 474-8276.
• Salvation Army, provides assistance to those in need, (602) 267-4100, specify Payson chapter/group.
• Society St. Vincent de Paul, which operates the Rim Country Food Bank and also provides financial assistance in emergencies, (928) 474-9104.
• Time Out, Inc., provides emergency and transitional housing, training, counseling and more to victims of domestic violence, (928) 468-8635.
• Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation, serves children with special needs through work with animals, (602) 266-2216.
To claim a tax credit, report the name of the qualifying charitable organization and the dollar amount to the Arizona Department of Revenue on Form 321. Complete Form 321 and include it when you file your tax return. Your donation may also be claimed as a charitable deduction on your federal income tax.
If you have no Arizona tax liability for the current year, you may carry the tax credit forward for up to five years.
Additional information can be found on the Arizona Department of Revenue Web site and from tax professionals.