To qualify for the credit, you must make contributions or pay fees to a public school for support of extra curricular activities or for character education programs.
A character education program is a program defined in A.R.S. 15-719. Under this statute, each district may develop its own course of study for each grade. At a minimum, the character education program must include instruction in the definition and application of at least six of the following character traits: truthfulness, responsibility, compassion, diligence, sincerity, trustworthiness, respect, attentiveness, obedience, orderliness, forgiveness and virtue.
Extra curricular activities are school sponsored activities that require enrolled students to pay a fee in order to participate. The activities must supplement the school's education program and may be educational or recreational. Each school district will determine what activities are extra curricular activities for each public school located in that district. Extra curricular activities may include:
- Use of band uniforms
- Use of equipment or uniforms for varsity athletics
- Use of scientific laboratory equipment or materials.
- In state or out-of-state trips that are solely for competitive events.
Extra curricular activities do not include any senior trips or events that are recreational, amusement or tourist activities.
You must make contributions or pay fees to a public school or charter school located in Arizona. The school must provide instruction in grades kindergarten through 12.
Contributions made or fees paid to any of the following do not qualify for this credit:
- A nongovernmental school
- A pre-school
- A community college
- a university
- A public school located outside of Arizona
You cannot claim both a tax credit and an itemized deduction for the amount of contributions made to a public school for which you are claiming a credit.
Before you claim this credit, make sure that the public school gave you a receipt for the contributions or qualifying fees that you paid. The receipt should show all of the following:
- The name of the public school
- The school district number of the district in which the school belongs
- The name of the taxpayer
- The taxpayer's social security number
- The amount paid or contributed
- The date paid or contributed
- A description of the activity for which the contributions were made or the fees were paid.
For more information on school tax credits, see the Arizona Department of Revenue brochure, Pub 707, School Tax Credits.