Arizona Tax Credit Giving Opportunities

The Arizona Community Foundation School Tuition Organization provides scholarships to low-income, disabled and displaced (foster care) students across Arizona to attend tuition-bearing private schools.

ACF School Tuition Organization

These scholarships are funded with donations to our School Tuition Organization, qualifying donors for a dollar-for-dollar Arizona state tax credit. This no-cost giving opportunity provides high-need Arizona students a quality education in partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona's largest private provider of scholarships and a leading education grantmaker.

Donate now

Applying for an STO Scholarship

Scholarships funded with donations to our School Tuition Organization assist with tuition costs as well as non-tuition needs of the scholars, including school uniforms, books, transportation, mentoring, tutoring and other academic supports. Learn more about applying.

The ACF Advantage

Arizona law requires School Tuition Organizations to distribute 90 percent of your gift in scholarship awards, but ACF voluntarily designates an additional 5 percent of your gift to serve the non-tuition needs of the scholars such as transportation, books, uniforms, mentoring and other academic supports. We feel these additional supports will be the key to students' success beyond the tuition provided through the scholarship awards.

STO scholarships awarded in the last fiscal year

During the state of Arizona's 2016-2017 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2017, STO scholarships from the Arizona Community Foundation totaling $2,499,225 were awarded to students with family incomes as indicated.

ACF Original Individual STO Scholarships awarded during Arizona's 2016-2017 fiscal year

Original scholarships paid to students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches (family income up to 185% of poverty level):

Amount of original scholarships paid — $106,326

Amount as a percentage of total original scholarships paid — 75%

Original scholarships paid to students whose family income exceeds the threshold for free or reduced-price lunches but does not exceed 185% of the eligibility requirements (family income greater than 185% of poverty level and less than 342.25% of poverty level):

Amount of original scholarships paid — $25,939

Amount as percentage of total original scholarships paid — 18%

ACF Switcher STO Scholarships awarded during Arizona's 2016-2017 fiscal year

Switcher scholarships paid to students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches (family income up to 185% of poverty level):

Amount of switcher scholarships paid — $92,128

Amount as a percentage of total switcher scholarships paid — 90%

Switcher scholarships paid to students whose family income exceeds the threshold for free or reduced-price lunches but does not exceed 185% of the eligibility requirements (family income greater than 185% of poverty level and less than 342.25% of poverty level):

Amount of switcher scholarships paid — $7,000

Amount as percentage of total switcher scholarships paid — 7%

ACF Low-income STO Scholarships awarded during Arizona's 2016-2017 fiscal year

Low-income scholarships paid to students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches (family income up to 185% of poverty level):

Amount of low-income scholarships paid — $1,364,325

Amount as a percentage of total low-income scholarships paid — 73%

Low-income scholarships paid to students whose family income exceeds the threshold for free or reduced-price lunches but does not exceed 185% of the eligibility requirements (family income greater than 185% of poverty level and less than 342.25% of poverty level):

Amount of low-income scholarships paid — $508,895

Amount as percentage of total low-income scholarships paid — 27%

ACF Disabled/Displaced STO Scholarships awarded during Arizona's 2016-2017 fiscal year

Low-income scholarships paid to students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches (family income up to 185% of poverty level):

Amount of low-income scholarships paid — $34,501

Amount as a percentage of total low-income scholarships paid — 36%

Low-income scholarships paid to students whose family income exceeds the threshold for free or reduced-price lunches but does not exceed 185% of the eligibility requirements (family income greater than 185% of poverty level and less than 342.25% of poverty level):

Amount of low-income scholarships paid — $151,602

Amount as percentage of total low-income scholarships paid — 40%

Tax Credit Giving Options for Donors

Four different tax credit programs exist: two for corporations/businesses and two for individual/married taxpayers. Click the plus signs below to learn more.

Corporate Tax Credits

In 2006, the Arizona Corporate Credit for Contributions to School Tuition Organizations Law (A.R.S. 43-1183) was passed to allow corporations to receive a state income tax credit to help select students receive a quality private education through gifts to qualifying school tuition organizations. Eligible companies must pay corporate state income tax and the credit must be less than or equal to the actual amount they will pay to the state of Arizona.

There is no maximum that a company can contribute, but the program has a statewide cap of $61,917,365 for low-income scholarship gifts and $5 million for disabled/displaced student scholarship gifts.

To make a corporate tax credit donation, submit the Corporate Donor Submission Form [PDF, 89KB] and ACF staff will then submit a request for approval of the tax credit gift to the Arizona Department of Revenue. When approval is received, ACF will notify the donating company in order to initiate the gift.

Individual Tax Credits

The Arizona Private School Tuition Tax Credit was signed into law in 1997 as A.R.S. Section 43-1089. Individual taxpayers can re-direct state income tax dollars to the School Tuition Organization at the Arizona Community Foundation, a qualifying school tuition organization, to provide educational grants to participating private school students. Two tax credits are available to individuals.

Original Individual Income Tax Credit Program

For the 2016 tax year, the maximum credit amount that may be taken is $545 for single, unmarried head of household filers and married filing separately taxpayers. Married taxpayers filing jointly may take a maximum credit amount of up to $1,090. Individual taxpayers have until April 15, 2017, to make donations that qualify for an Arizona state tax credit for the 2016 tax year. 

If the contributed amount is greater than the actual income tax liability, the available credit is limited to the actual tax liability. The law allows a carry forward for up to five years. The annual maximum credit limits will adjust with the consumer price index of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Download the State of Arizona’s information sheet.

Although the state tax credit law allows a donor to recommend a child for a tuition award, the Arizona Community Foundation's STO does not accept donor recommendations for a specific child or school. A gift to support our scholarship program will be used to support students who have the highest financial need, have a disability, or are placed in the Arizona foster care system.

When making a contribution to the STO at the Arizona Community Foundation, donors can choose to designate their gifts to one of Arizona's 15 counties. See the online giving form.

Switcher Individual Income Tax Credit

Arizona implemented an additional educational credit, the Switcher Income Tax Credit, in 2012. This credit is designed to help new students to attend private schools that may not have otherwise had this educational opportunity. Eligible students must either be entering kindergarten, switching from a public school, a military dependent, or a prior recipient of the Switcher credit or other corporate tax credits.

For the 2016 tax year, after the maximum donation ($1,090 for married couples filing jointly and $545 for single/heads of household) is met under the “Original” Tax Credit, all additional donations are automatically directed to the Switcher Income Tax Credit. You can contribute an additional amount of up to $1,083/$542 to the Switcher Income Tax Credit, bringing your total maximum donation to $2,173 for married couples filing jointly and $1,087 for single filers/heads of household. Donors have until April 15, 2017, to make contributions that qualify for tax year 2016.

Individual Tax Credits Maximums for 2016 Tax Forms
Original Tax Credit
$1,090 (married filing jointly)
$545 (individual)
Arizona Form 301
Overflow/"PLUS"/Switcher Tax Credit
$1,083 (married filing jointly)
$542 (individual)
Arizona Form 323
TOTAL Maximum Tax Credit
$2,173 (married filing jointly)
$1,087 (individual)
Arizona Form 348

Visit the Arizona Department of Revenue for the most updated and complete list of tax forms.

To learn more and to make your tax credit gift, contact the Arizona Community Foundation at 602.682.2040.

In the true spirit of the Arizona State tax credit legislation, the Arizona Community Foundation School Tuition Organization serves students with the highest verified need. The Arizona Community Foundation does not accept donor-designated contributions. Arizona law requires all school tuition organizations to print the following notice on all printed material and websites: A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.

Arizona law requires the following:

A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.

Back to Top