Tax credit deadline approaching in mere days

December 26, 2018

It would be nice to precisely control how one’s taxes are spent.

While Arizona residents can’t dictate exactly how all their tax money is used, it is possible to control a good chunk of it.

Consider this scenario: You have $200 that you must give up. Either the tax man in Phoenix gets the $200, or you can politely and quite legally snatch the money from his hand and give it to the Lake Havasu Unified School District.

When you choose to give the money to the district, that $200 is earmarked for students’ extracurricular activities at the schools. The money pays for athletics, Police Explorer’s Club, the band, tutoring, Youth Court – more than four dozen programs in all.

If you don’t make the choice to give the $200 to the district, your $200 is thrown into the big pot of money controlled by the Arizona Department of Revenue. From there, elected legislators spend it for you.

This transaction with your $200 is called a tax credit. By giving the $200 to the school district, the $200 you’re already obligated to pay the State of Arizona is “rerouted” from the Arizona Department of Revenue to Havasu students’ needs.

More specifically, Arizona tax law allows taxpayers a tax credit of up to $400 if they elect to support all schools’ extracurricular activities. In 2017, tax credit contributions helped raise more than $500,000 for the Havasu district’s students.

But with only a few days left in 2018, time is running out to make tax credit contributions.

The contributions can be made online at www.lhusd.org. Access the online payment portal in a variety of ways, said Superintendent Diana Asseier. Parent/guardian sign-in requires a username and password, but allows you to link your contribution directly to your child. Guest sign-in requires no username and password. In the memo section, include a student name if your contribution supports that student’s club travel or athletic fee.

For details, contact the Tax Credit office at 928-505-6917. It is open until 4 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday. Contributors can also hand-deliver tax credit forms to the district office in Building C at 2200 Havasupai Blvd.

The district’s web site also offers a form for those who would prefer to set up automatic tax credit payments for the coming year. Contributors choose the day of the month and the amount to be automatically withdrawn on one’s tax credit account each month. This option allows a household the ability to get the maximum tax credit without taking a big single bite out of one’s budget. When your total designated contribution is reached, withdrawals automatically stop.

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