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Do you know someone who is going to a Public or Private school? Do you have a heart for those in need and want to help out? If so, let me tell you about a couple of opportunities available to you. There is a way in which you can give to a worthy cause AND get your money back. Sounds like a gimmick, right? That there has to be strings attached. Well it’s not a gimmick but there are strings attached. There are Tax Credits offered by each state that will give you each dollar back you give. If you live in Arizona, here are some Tax Credits available to you and their guidelines:

Working Poor Tax Credit – You can give up to $400 to a non-profit organization that helps the poor. The limit is $200 if you’re single and $400 if you’re married. The deadline is 12/31.

Private School Tax Credit – You can give up to $1000 to a private school to help pay for a student’s tuition. The limit is $500 if you’re single and $1000 if you’re married. You actually have until April 15th of the following year to take advantage of this one.

Public School Tax Credit – You can give up to $400 to a public school for extra-curricular activities that require students to pay a fee to participate, i.e. football, band, cheer-leading, etc. Limits are $200 if you’re single and $400 if you’re married. The deadline is 12/31.

So here is the deal, you have to actually owe taxes to the state of Arizona. So if you don’t pay state income tax, then this doesn’t apply to you. But for the rest of you, all you have to do is write a check to a worthy cause that meets the states criteria, provide the donation information to your accountant (or online tax service) and you will get the money back.

Please seek the counsel of your accountant to make sure you qualify. For those of you reading that don’t live in Arizona, check your state governments website to see what may be available to you.