Monday, Nov 30, 2020
Give and get back
Arizona offers four kinds of "dollar-for-dollar" charitable donation credits, so here's a great way to do some good for the community and for yourself at the same time.
You get a dollar off your state tax for each dollar you donate, up to the program limit. Under new federal rules, however, those donations generally no longer count as charitable contributions on your federal return.
Feeling generous? You can donate for more than one of the tax credits. In fact, you can give for all four tax credits, if your tax situation allows.
It's not often you can end up on the winning end of a tax law, and three of the credits allow donations up to Apr. 15. Do yourself a favor and tell the state legislature how to spend some of its budget by checking out these Arizona tax credits:
- Qualifying Charitable Organizations (max $400 single/$800 married)
- Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (max $500 single/$1,000 married)
- Contributions Made or Fees Paid to a Public School ($200 single/$400 married)
- Contributions to Private School Tuition Organizations ($1,173 single/$2,365 married)
- Military Family Relief Fund ($200 single/$400 married)
Now's the time to start thinking about how to minimize your tax liability for this year. If you'd like to discuss your tax situation, please contact me for an appointment.
Here are a few "top of the list" tips:
- Maximize your retirement contributions, whether to a 401(k), IRA or other "qualified plan."
- Pay ahead: paying now for spring semester tuition, spring property taxes, upcoming work-related expenses, charitable donations and other things can give you a tax deduction this year.
- Clear out your closets now to take charitable donations on this year's return
- Put in energy efficient improvements now to your home to qualify for tax breaks.
- If you have poorly performing investments that you want to dump, sell them now to take the losess this year.
- If there's income that you don't need to receive now and it can be put off, wait until after Jan. 1 so it will appear on your tax return in a year from now instead of in just a few months.
Download handy worksheets and organizers
Our Downloads page offers a variety of tax organizers, worksheets and forms to help you make sense of your tax records ... and also make sure you don't overlook anything. Feel free to browse our library when you need something.
Although taxes were collected briefly in the 1860's to pay for the Civil War, U.S. income taxes really began in 1913. Here are links if you'd like to see what the 1864 or 1913 tax return looked like. Things have gotten a tad more complicated since then.