Questions & Answers

What is the Credit for Public School Contributions?

You can claim a credit for cash contributions made and for certain fees paid to public schools in Arizona.

The credit is equal to the amount contributed or the amount of fees paid. However, for Single or Head of Household returns, the credit can't exceed $200. For Married Filing Jointly returns, the credit can't exceed $400. For Married Filing Separately returns, each spouse may claim only $200. If the allowable tax credit is more than your tax or if you have no tax, you may carry forward the unused credit for up to the next 5 years.

This credit is available only to individuals. Corporations may not claim this credit. A partnership may not pass the credit through to its partners. An S corporation may not pass the credit through to its shareholders.

To qualify for the credit, you must make contributions or pay fees to a public school in Arizona for the following purposes:

  • standardized testing for college credit or readiness offered by a widely recognized and accepted educational testing organization
  • the career and technical education industry certification assessment
  • preparation courses and materials for standardized testing
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation training
  • extracurricular activities
  • character education programs
  • from and after June 30, 2019, through June 30, 2022, contributions or fees paid for the following items qualify:
    1. acquiring capital items, as defined in the uniform system of financial records, including those items listed in section 15-903, subsection c, paragraphs 2 through 8
    2. community school meal programs
    3. student consumable health care supplies
    4. playground equipment and shade structures for playground equipment
"Standardized testing for college credit or readiness" includes the SAT, PSAT, ACT, advanced placement and international baccalaureate diploma tests and other similar tests.

"Widely recognized and accepted educational testing organization" means the college board, the ACT, the international baccalaureate and other organizations that are widely recognized and accepted by colleges and universities in the United States and that offer college credit and readiness examinations.

"Career and technical education industry certification assessment" means an assessment for career and technical preparation programs for pupils.

"Community school meal program" means a school meal program that takes place before or after the regular school day on school property.

"Student consumable health care supplies" includes tissues, hand wipes, bandages and other health care consumables that are generally used by children.

Each district may develop its own course of study for each grade. At a minimum, the character education program must include instruction in the definition and application of at least six of the following character traits: truthfulness, responsibility, compassion, diligence, sincerity, trustworthiness, respect, attentiveness, obedience, orderliness, forgiveness, and virtue.

Extracurricular activities are school sponsored activities that may require enrolled students to pay a fee in order to participate. The activities must supplement the school's education program and may be educational or recreational. Each school district will determine what activities are extracurricular activities for each public school located in that district. Extracurricular activities may include:
  • use of band uniforms
  • use of equipment or uniforms for varsity athletics
  • use of scientific laboratory equipment or materials
  • in-state or out-of-state trips that are solely for competitive events
Extracurricular activities do not include any senior trips or events that are recreational, amusement, or tourist activities.

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