Arizona State Tax Help

How will contributions to the National Guard Relief Fund be used?

This fund is dedicated to "helping the Arizona National Guard take care of its own" and provides financial aid to families of Arizona National Guard members when the National Guard member is placed on active duty and is serving in a combat zone. The Arizona Emergency Relief Fund (AERF) provides emergency financial assistance, in the form of loans or grants, to soldiers and their dependents when there is a valid need.

What is a solar energy device?

A solar energy device is a system or series of mechanisms which collect and transfer solar generated energy and which is designed primarily to:
  • Provide heating
  • Provide cooling
  • Produce electrical power
  • Produce mechanical power
  • Provide solar daylighting
  • Provide any combination of the above by means of collecting and transferring solar generated energy into such uses either by active or passive means, including wind generator systems that produce electricity.
Solar energy systems may also have the capability of storing solar energy for future use. Passive systems must clearly be designed as a solar energy device, such as a trombe wall, and not merely as a part of a normal structure, such as a window. Only a system or device which performs one or more of the above functions qualifies for the Solar Energy Credit. An individual component of a system does not qualify for the credit by itself.

What solar energy devices qualify for this credit?

The following devices, when used for residential purposes, qualify for the credit:
  • Solar domestic water heating systems - Collectors, storage tanks, heat exchangers, and piping, valves, wiring, etc., directly related to the solar system
  • Solar swimming pool and spa heating systems - Collectors, heat exchangers, piping, valves, wiring, etc., directly related to the solar system
  • Solar photovoltaic systems - Collectors, batteries, inverters, solar system related wiring, and including solar photovoltaic systems for recreational vehicles used as a residence. End-use appliances (even if they are 12 vdc) are excluded unless they are manufactured specifically for photovoltaic systems applications.
  • Solar photovoltaic phones, street lighting, etc. - Collectors, batteries, inverters, and solar system related wiring. Phone, lights, etc., are excluded unless they are manufactured specifically for photovoltaic applications.
  • Passive solar building systems - Trombe wall components, thermal mass, and components specifically designed for energy gains. Dual pane windows, low-e, and other window coatings, etc., are excluded.
  • Solar day lighting systems - Those devices and systems specifically designed to capture and redirect visible solar energy while controlling the infrared energy (conventional skylights are specifically excluded).
  • Wind generators - Windmill, structure, generator, batteries, controls, wiring, and other components directly related to the wind generator. End-use appliances are excluded.
  • Wind-powered pumps - Windmill, structure, pump, pipes, and other components directly related to the wind pump

What solar energy devices do NOT qualify for this credit?

  • Conventional plumbing components - Water softeners, drinking water systems, etc., even if they are provided (free or otherwise) as part of the system
  • Conventional controls - Load controllers, programmable thermostats, etc., even if they are provided (free or otherwise) as part of the system
  • Conventional heating/cooling systems - Air conditioners, heat pumps, evaporative coolers, furnaces, regardless of efficiency
  • Conventional windows and window treatments - Dualpane, low-e, shade screens, reflective and dark coatings, awnings, interior shades, drapes, and blinds
  • Conventional skylights
  • Appliances (all voltages) - Refrigerators, lights, fans, TVs, etc., unless they are manufactured specifically for photovoltaic systems
  • Fans - Ceiling, window, attic, interior, etc., unless they are manufactured specifically for photovoltaic applications
  • Paint - Ceramic, reflective roof coatings
  • Insulation (includes "outsulation") and radiant barrier
  • Weather stripping, caulking
  • Misting systems
  • Vegetation - Shade trees, shrubs, grass
  • Solar energy cars
  • A solar hot water heater plumbing stub out that was installed by the builder of a house or dwelling unit before title was conveyed to the taxpayer. These systems can be claimed on Form 319. For details, see the Form 319 instructions.

Can I carry forward any unused Solar Energy Credit to next year's tax return?

If the allowable credit is more than the tax you owe, or if you don't owe any tax, you may carry forward the unused credit for the next 5 consecutive years.

What items qualify as other additions?

Other addition(s) may include positive adjustments for depreciation, amortization, or certain tax credits. You may have another miscellaneous addition if any of the following apply:
  • You are a qualified defense contractor that elected to amortize under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 43-1024.
  • You sold or disposed of property that was held for the production of income and your basis was computed under the Arizona Income Tax Act of 1954.
  • You claimed the Environmental Technology Facility Credit.
  • You claimed the Pollution Control Credit.
  • You claimed the Recycling Equipment Credit.
  • You claimed the Credit for Agricultural Pollution Control Equipment.
  • You elected to amortize the basis of a pollution control device or the cost of a child care facility under Arizona law in effect before 1990. You are still deducting amortization or depreciation for that device or facility on your federal income tax return.
See the Arizona instructions for more information.

Which states do NOT qualify for this credit?

If you're a full-year resident of Arizona, taxes you paid to the following states do NOT qualify for this credit:
  • Alaska
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
If you're a nonresident of Arizona, you can ONLY claim a credit for taxes you paid to the following states:
  • California
  • Indiana
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

Which federal, Arizona state, or local government pensions qualify as a subtraction?

Government pensions from the sources listed below qualify as a subtraction if the income was also included in your federal income:
  • The United States Government Service Retirement and Disability Fund
  • The United States Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System
  • Retired or retainer pay of the uniformed services of the United States
  • Any other retirement system or plan established by federal law
  • The Arizona State Retirement System
  • The Arizona State Retirement Plan
  • The Corrections Officer Retirement Plan
  • The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System
  • The Elected Officials' Retirement Plan
  • A retirement plan established for employees of a county, city, or town in Arizona
  • An optional retirement program established by the Arizona Board of Regents under Arizona Revised Statutes
  • An optional retirement program established by an Arizona community college district

What items qualify as other subtractions?

Other subtraction(s) from income may include negative adjustments for depreciation, amortization, or certain credits. You may qualify for another miscellaneous subtraction if any of the following apply:
  • You are a qualified defense contractor that elected to amortize under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 43-1024.
  • You sold or disposed of property that was held for the production of income and your basis was computed under the Arizona Income Tax Act of 1954.
  • You were an Arizona resident before December 31, 1975, and you are receiving IRA distributions from your IRA account to which you made contributions before December 31, 1975.
  • You were an Arizona resident before December 31, 1975, and you are receiving distributions from your qualified self-employment retirement plan to which you made contributions before December 31, 1975.
  • You deferred exploration expenses determined under Internal Revenue Code Section 617 in a taxable year ending before January 1, 1990, and you have not previously taken a subtraction for those expenses.
See the Arizona instructions for more information.

How will contributions to the Veterans' Donations Fund be used?

This fund has helped fund programs and initiatives to benefit veterans and their families throughout Arizona. Visit the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services websitefor more information.

Do these charitable contributions also qualify as a federal Itemized Deduction?

Yes. Most contributions you made that qualify for the Charitable Contributions Credit, Public School Contributions Credit, or Private School Tuition Organization Contributions Credit are also deductible on your federal tax return as a charitable contribution. Be sure to include any amounts contributed as charitable contributions on the federal Itemized Deductions screen.

If any of your contributions are eligible to be taken as a credit on your Arizona return, the amount of those contributions won't be considered an Arizona Itemized Deduction. You can take a credit for those donations on your Arizona return, but not a credit and a deduction. However, you do get the deduction on your federal return if you itemize your deductions.

Who qualifies for the Qualifying Parent or Grandparent Exemption?

You may claim the Qualifying Parent or Grandparent Exemption if all of the following apply:
  • The parent or grandparent lived in your principal residence for all of 2013.
  • You paid more than one-half of the support and maintenance costs for the parent or grandparent during 2013.
  • The parent or grandparent was 65 years old or older during 2013.
  • The parent or grandparent required assistance with activities of daily living, like getting in and out of bed or chairs, walking around, going outdoors, using the toilet, bathing, shaving, brushing teeth, combing hair, dressing, medicating, or feeding.
Note: If a person who qualifies as your dependent is also a qualifying parent or grandparent, you may claim that person as a dependent or as a qualifying parent or grandparent. You may not claim the same person as both a dependent and a qualifying parent or grandparent.

What is a qualifying charitable organization?

A qualifying charity is one that is exempt from federal income tax and that is a designated community action agency that receives Community Services Block Grant Program money. The charity must spend at least 50% of its budget on services to Arizona residents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits or to low-income Arizona residents and their households.

For the purpose of this credit, qualifying services are services that meet the recipient's immediate basic needs. The services must be provided and used in Arizona. Services that meet these needs include cash assistance, medical care, child care, food, clothing, shelter, job training, and job placement services.

To see if a charity qualifies, you can check this list of qualifying charities or this list of umbrella organizations.

A qualifying charitable organization also includes charities that are qualifying foster care charitable organizations. A qualifying foster care charitable organization is a qualifying charitable organization that each operating year provides services to at least two hundred foster children in Arizona. The charity must spend at least 50% of its budget on services to foster children in this state.

For the purpose of this credit, "foster child" means a child placed in a foster home or child welfare agency, and "foster home" means a home maintained by any individual or individuals having the care or control of minor children, other than those related to each other by blood or marriage, or related to such individuals, or who are legal wards of such individuals.

To see if a foster care charity qualifies, you can check this list of qualifying foster care charities.

Can I take both the Public School Contributions Credit and the Private School Tuition Organization Contributions Credit?

Yes. If you qualify for each of the credits, you can take both credits.

Can I take the Public School Contributions Credit if I made contributions or paid fees to a charter school?

Yes. You may take the Public School Contributions Credit for contributions you made or fees you paid to a public school in support of extracurricular activities or character education. This includes amounts paid to a charter school.

Contributions made or fees paid to any of the following do NOT qualify for this credit:
  • A nongovernmental school
  • A preschool
  • A community college
  • A university
  • A public school located outside of Arizona

What do I enter for 2013 estimated tax payments?

  • Enter any estimated tax payments you made for 2013.
  • Enter any amount credited from your 2012 return.
  • Enter any amount you paid with an extension request.
Do NOT enter any Arizona income tax withheld by your employer(s) as shown on 2013 wage or tax statements.

How will contributions to the Arizona Wildlife Fund be used?

Gifts to the Arizona Wildlife Fund help protect wildlife in the state. Many species like bald eagles, Apache trout, and black-footed ferrets benefit from your gifts. Gifts are also used to improve areas for watching wildlife statewide. Visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department websitefor more information.

How will contributions to the Child Abuse Prevention Fund be used?

This fund provides financial aid to community agencies for child abuse prevention programs. Visit the Child Abuse Prevention Fund websitefor more information.

How will contributions to the Domestic Violence Shelter Fund be used?

This fund provides financial aid to shelters for victims of domestic violence. In addition to housing for up to 90 days, these shelters provide case management, individual and group counseling, and legal advocacy services.

How will contributions to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund be used?

This fund provides eligible recipients who are vulnerable to the rising costs of utilities with emergency aid in paying energy utility bills and conserving energy.

How will contributions to the Special Olympics Fund be used?

This fund helps support Special Olympics programs in Arizona. Visit the Special Olympics Arizona websitefor more information.

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