by Richard O’Neil, CPA, O’Neil & Steiner, PLLC

Our community is blessed to have many people with a heart inclined toward giving. For those incredible people, here are a few ideas to get the most benefit from your generosity come tax time. All of these ideas have significant limitations and restrictions, so be sure to speak to your tax advisor or do your own research before you give.

  1. Take advantage of Arizona Tax Credits for giving. Some things just sound too good to be true, but this one really is true. Imagine having your contribution reduce your Arizona tax liability dollar-for-dollar. It is like having the state of Arizona make the contribution for you, and it is not too late. Contributions for many of these credits can be made up until April 15th and still be claimed on your 2016 tax return.

    The Public School tax credit is for contributions made or fees paid to a public school. The Private School Tuition Credits consist of two separate credits for Private School Tuition Organizations and Certified Private School Tuition Organizations.

    There are also separate tax credits available for contributions to qualifying charitable organizations and qualifying foster care charitable organizations. The receiving organization must be on the Arizona Department of Revenue’s list. Some notable Casa Grande organizations that qualify include:
    – Against Abuse, Inc.
    – Boys & Girls Club of
    – Casa Grande Valley
    – Horizon Human Services
    – Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens
    – The Salvation Army-Casa Grande
    – Seeds of Hope, Inc.
    – St. Vincent de Paul Society,
    – St. Anthony Conference
    – Sun Life Family Health Center

  2. Consider a charitable distribution directly from your IRA. If you are over 70 ½ you may qualify to exclude up to $100,000 in taxable distributions from your IRA if the distribution is made directly from the trustee of your IRA to a qualifying organization.
  3. Consider donating appreciated long-term capital gain property. Donations of property that if sold, would generate long-term capital gain can often be deducted as a charitable contribution based on the property’s Fair Market Value. The advantage here is that you may be able to deduct the property’s full fair market value, without having to pay income tax on the gain.
  4. Don’t lose you tax benefits because you did not keep the right records. A simple cancelled check is often not enough to document your contribution. If your contribution is noncash or if your contribution is $250 or more, additional documentation is required.

Those who give make a tremendous difference in our community. If you are one of those people please visit your tax adviser because you deserve to receive every tax benefit available. For additional information visit for Arizona tax credit information and for federal information on charitable giving.