Get a tax credit and help educate a child

GOLDEN VALLEY - The holidays aren't just the hap-happiest time of the year: This is also the time when taxpayers should be considering ways to cushion the blow that's coming up in just a few weeks when they start preparing their income tax returns.

The Arizona Scholarship Fund K-12 private school scholarships and tuition assistance program offers one way for taxpayers to donate to a good cause and get a break on their state income tax at the same time. If the donation exceeds the amount of taxes owed, the taxpayer gets the overpayment back in the form of a tax refund.

Taxpayers can direct a portion of their state tax liability toward education and get up to $500 tax credit for a single person or head of household, or as much as $1,000 credit for married couples filing jointly.

The tax credit can be directed toward a specific private or public school, the taxpayer can sponsor a particular student in that school, or the money can go directly into the general fund, according to information from the Arizona Scholarship Fund.

To sponsor a child, the taxpayer must ask the family or the school for that child's account number.

The tax credit also can be directed specifically toward a program in the school.

"Everyone complains that the only programs that get enough funding in most schools are the athletic programs," said Carla Register, whose son, Keith Barron, attends Emmanuel Christian Academy in Kingman. "With a tax credit donation, you can specify just how you want your money spent in the school. You can help fund art, theater and music programs that otherwise are often under-funded. Some schools have even cut those kinds of programs for lack of funds."

For more information, contact the school you're interested in helping or go online to www.AZscholarship.org; code ASF.