Extracurricular Activity (ECA)
State Tax Credit

What is the Arizona state tax credit for public schools?

Arizona law provides a tax credit for contributions to public schools to support extracurricular activities or character education. Beginning in 2015, additional support areas include:

  • standardized testing fees for college credit or readiness, such as PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP and IB tests
  • career and technical education industry certification assessment
  • preparation courses and materials for standardized testing

You can help Mesa students and possibly lower your tax bill by making a donation.

The state tax credit is available to ALL qualifying individual Arizona state taxpayers. You do not need to have a child enrolled in a school to take advantage of this state tax credit. It is always best to consult a tax adviser to see if you qualify for the dollar-for-dollar credit.

A tax credit is different from a deduction, because you may subtract the whole contribution from your Arizona state tax bill. An individual may contribute as much as $200, and a couple filing jointly may contribute as much as $400 to a public school and receive the money back in the form of a tax credit.

Please note: To be eligible for a state tax credit for 2016, your contribution must be received or postmarked by April 15, 2017. ECA donations are not refundable.

Not sure what school or activity to donate to?

Click here to choose a school based on student poverty, grade levels or location.

Parent instructions for online payment

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How does it work?

If you qualify for this state tax credit, you may write a check or use your credit card to make a contribution. When you file your Arizona state taxes, you then subtract the amount of your contribution from what you owe or add the amount to your refund.

  • If you owe $800 in Arizona state taxes: Make a $400 contribution to a public school, and subtract $400 from your Arizona state taxes. Your tax bill will then be $400.
  • If you are expecting an $800 refund on your Arizona state taxes: Make a $400 contribution to a Mesa Public School, and add $400 to your Arizona state tax refund. Your refund will be $1,200.