People Donating Food To Charity Food Bank Collection In Community Center

The holiday season is here again and we find ourselves in the giving spirit. As the year comes to a close, it’s a great time to appreciate what we have and provide aid to those in need.

Donating to charity is known to make people happier and more thankful for what they have, but it also helps keep our economy afloat. Nonprofits and charities play an important role in Arizona’s economy, providing an economic impact of $22.4 billion, over 8% of the state’s gross product, according to the AZ Foundation.

A state of giving

Fortunately, our state tax laws still provide tax benefits to those who give through the AZ Charitable Tax Credit. The program includes two individual
tax credits for charitable contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) and Qualifying 
Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QFCO).

Each type of organization has a maximum dollar amount that can be subtracted from your tax liability. For a QCO, the maximum credit is $800 for married couples and $400 for individuals, while a QFCO allows for a $1,000 and $500 maximum credit for married couples and individuals.

When tax time comes in April, you’ll need to complete Arizona Form 321 for gifts to a QCO and Form 352 for a QFCO. You’ll also need to enter
a code number that corresponds to each specific organization that receives your donation.

Where should you donate?

Tucson is full of excellent nonprofit organizations doing vital work to move our city forward. Here are just a few examples of organizations that need help during the holiday season.

Children’s Clinics of Tucson

Located at Tucson Medical Center, Children’s Clinics provide medical care and a supportive setting for families with special needs. The organization serves children suffering from complicated medical conditions like sickle cell, cleft lip, cerebral palsy and more. In addition to medical services, Children’s Clinics also runs an Adaptive Recreation Program that includes adaptive sports leagues for soccer, swimming, basketball, and tennis.

Aviva Children’s Services

For over 40 years, Aviva Children’s Services has supported children in foster care and the DCS system with programs and resources that improve their quality of life. The organization believes that children in foster care deserve to experience “love, respect, and a kinder side of life.” They back up these beliefs through providing clothing, diapers, school uniforms, and more to children in need.

Youth On Their Own

Ann Young, a former school counselor, founded Youth On Their Own (YOTO) in 1986 after witnessing how homelessness affected her students’ school attendance. YOTO supports about 1,500 homeless students per year in grades 6-12 by providing up to a $140 stipend for basic needs, along with a once-per- semester emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, or medical expenses. In return, students must keep up their attendance and maintain at least a “C” average in all their classes. Students also receive guidance through one-on-one Success Coaching, housing referrals, and medical, dental, and vision care.

There’s no better time to donate your time or money to causes you care about during the holiday season. Tax benefits like the AZ Charitable Tax Credit give you the power to determine where your tax dollars are distributed and allow you to positively impact your community. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season full of good cheer and generous giving!

Vantage West Credit Union is a $2 billion financial institution, which serves a growing Membership of nearly 160,000 via retail locations across Arizona and online channels. Vantage West offers consumer and business banking services, and is federally insured by NCUA.