As Americans, a percentage of our earned income is taxed by our federal and state governments. If left alone, we have little control over where this money goes and often surrender it to programs outside our local communities.
Utilizing tax credits is a tangible way to ensure our hard-earned money is returned directly to organizations and programs that make an impact in our local economy. The Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition is a group of non-profit organizations who collectively help increase local awareness of the AZ tax credit, primarily the overlooked AZ Charitable Tax Credit.
Data from AZ's Department of Revenue shows that Yavapai County maxed out its available funds for the School Tax Credit but fell considerably short on the available funds for the Charitable Tax Credit - suggesting many community members are not aware of the opportunity to easily support their local non-profits.
What are Tax Credits?
A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the income tax you owe. For example, if you owe $1,000 in federal taxes but are eligible for a $1,000 tax credit, your net liability drops to zero. Tax credits generally save you more in taxes than deductions because deductions only reduce the amount of your income that is subject to tax, whereas, credits directly reduce your tax bill (more).
Arizonians can utilize Charitable Tax Credits on top of Public School Tax Credit and Private School Tuition Tax Credit: (credit amounts determined by the State of Arizona Department of Revenue)
Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO): Up to $400 if filing individually, or $800 if married filing jointly
Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QFCO): Up to $500 if filing individually, or $1,000 if married filing jointly
Credit amounts listed above are determined by the State of Arizona Department of Revenue. Contributions to QCOs and QFCOs do not influence the amount that can be claimed for each credit: meaning you can utilize BOTH tax credit opportunities in their entirety IN ADDITION TO school tax credits as long as your tax liability warrants (i.e. the total amount of each credit that a taxpayer may use for the taxable year cannot be greater than the tax liability shown on the tax return).
Be sure to speak with your local accountant for information regarding roll-over credits.
Please also note that the period for making eligible contributions has been extended this year! Donations to QCOs or QFCOs made on or before April 15th may be applied to the 2016 tax year.
Why You Should Care About AZ's Charitable Tax Credits
You can support organizations that are important to you at essentially no cost to you - the money you're contributing will be deducted from your tax liability. The Qualifying Charitable Organization and Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization Tax Credits make it possible to redirect your taxed income back into organizations that contribute to the healthy pulse of your neighborhood.
Within every community there exists a body of non-profit organizations working relentlessly to create a safer and healthier environment for it's neighbors, friends, and families. These organizations rely on grants, loans, and most importantly the support of their local community members to stay afloat.
Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition
The Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition was formed to help increase local awareness of the AZ tax credit. Once Tania Simms - Executive Director of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity - learned about the impact that The Flagstaff Tax Credit Coalition was having on their local non-profit organizations, she was inspired to facilitate the same collaboration in the Verde Valley.
With the support of Margie Beach, previously with Rainbow Acres, Linda Clark with Verde Valley Caregivers, and Damien Browning with Steps to Recovery Homes, the four organizations came together to form the coalition. Organized the end of 2015, the Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition was able to retain the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County as their Fiduciary by March 2016. The coalition aims to serve the the region by creating an easy portal that features all of the region's qualifying organizations. An increased utilization of the AZ state charitable tax credit will help to support non-profits' work to help low-income families meet basic needs, while strengthening the local nonprofit organizations.
Since the creation, the Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition has been working to recruit all 21 qualifying non-profits in the Verde Valley. To this date, 11 members have joined the coalition to support the mission of increasing public awareness of the AZ Charitable Tax Credit.
QUALIFYING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ON WWW.VVTAXCREDIT.ORG
ANGIE'S HOUSE Cottonwood, AZ - P: (928)301-2169 Providing immediate housing for qualified residents impacted by addiction, homelessness and mental illness.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES (Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization) Cottonwood, AZ - P: (928)634-4254 Serving the most vulnerable residents throughout central and northern Arizona.
CHANGING LIVES: STEPS TO RECOVERY HOME Cottonwood, AZ - P: (928)649-0077 Providing a comfortable, safe, structured, drug and alcohol-free environment for those willing to change their lives for the better
COTTONWOOD LIONS CLUB FOUNDATION Cottonwood, AZ - P: (928)821-0231 Providing assistance to residents of our community who cannot afford to get professional services to improve their sight or hearing.
HOUSE OF RUTH Cottonwood, AZ P: (928)634-0212 Serving pregnant women and to protecting the lives of unborn children.
OLD TOWN MISSION Cottonwood, AZ P: (928)634-7869 Helping over 36,000 men, women and children each year through programs and services including food, clothing, showers, hot lunches, school supplies, eyeglasses, haircuts, and legal advice.
RAINBOW ACRES Camp Verde, AZ P: (928)567-5231 Empowering people with developmental disabilities to live to their fullest potential with dignity and purpose.
VERDE VALLEY CAREGIVER COALITION Sedona, AZ P: (928)204-1238 Providing volunteers, programs and services to support adults in need of assistance in maintaining their independence and quality of life at home.
VERDE VALLEY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Cottonwood, AZ P: (928)649-6788 Helping families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
VERDE VALLEY SANCTUARY Sedona, AZ P: (928)634-2511 Offering a safe haven for victims of family violence and sexual assault, providing shelter, community outreach, legal advocacy and education and prevention.
VERDE VALLEY SENIOR CENTER Cottonwood, AZ - P: (928)634-5450 Extending a lifeline to hundreds of senior citizens throughout the Verde Valley through food, social, interactive, health, counseling, tax, and safety programs.
Is Your Organization a Qualifying Organization?
The State of Arizona Department of Revenue has three additional provisions beyond a 501(c)(3) classification that a non-profit must meet in order to be considered a Qualifying Charitable Organization. See all provisions here. If provisions are met, your organization can apply to become a Qualifying Organization.
Qualifying Charitable Organization Application
Qualifying Foster Care Organizations Application
Please contact the Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition to join the efforts in unifying the non-profit organizations throughout the region. Even if your organization does not qualify, the Verde Valley Tax Credit Coalition would love your support and collaboration! Only qualifying organizations will be listed on the website, yet all non-profits are welcome to help increase local awareness of this opportunity to grow a stronger community.
How to Help Spread the Word
Like the VVTCC's Facebook Page and help spread their message through your networks.
Invite members of the VVTCC to come speak to your coworkers and employees.
Ask for a stack of VVTCC's Rap Cards to display at your place of business.
VOLUNTEER at any of your local non-profit organizations!
List of Local Accountants in your region
Complete list of AZ Qualifying Charitable Organizations for 2016
Complete list of AZ Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations for 2016