Tax Credit Donation

For the 2017 tax year individual Arizona taxpayers may donate up to $1,089 and get it back as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their 2017 state tax return.  Married couples filing jointly may donate up to $2,177 as a tax credit donation.

More than 70% of our students attend on need-based financial aid, and your support makes it possible. You are changing a life forever. 


Tax Credit donations to the IDEA School are made through either IBE or APESF, two state-regulated School Tuition Organizations (STOs) that administer tax credit donations. See below for details and click on the “Take the Credit!” icon for your STO of choice, to access their secure online donation page.

When completing your donation, make sure you recommend the funds go to IDEA School (see drop-down menu of schools on STO’s donation page).  All funds recommended to IDEA School support scholarships for students in need.

Take the Credit on your taxes, and pat yourself on the back for making an IDEA School education accessible to all students. It’s that easy!


Click above to make your donation to the IDEA School through the school  tuition organization IBE (scroll to the bottom and click “AZ Tax Credit Donation” to get started).  Or…



Click above to make your donation to the IDEA School through the school tuition organization APESF (scroll to the bottom and click “Yes” to get started).



NOTE: IBE shares the following information with the school: name(s) and address of the donor and the amount and date of your gift.  APESF DOES NOT share any donor information with the school; if you’d like your donation to be anonymous, this is the way to go.

Both IBE and APESF send you a thank you letter/donation receipt immediately. Put it with your tax documents and take the dollar-for-dollar credit when you file.

The Basics

Tax credit donations are used exclusively for tuition assistance, and are critical to helping us provide this rich educational experience to all interested students and families, regardless of income.

  • For the 2017 Tax Year, single taxpayers may contribute up to $1,089 as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit contribution (This includes both the “original” donation and “plus/overflow” donation — see STO websites for details). Married couples filing jointly may contribute up to $2,177.
  • Contributions are made to IDEA School’s Scholarship Fund through the Institute for Better Education (IBE) or the Arizona Private Education Scholarship Fund (APESF), state-regulated school tuition organizations that are also 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. In addition to the state credit, your donation is also deductible on your Federal taxes; see your tax professional for details.
  • As the donor, you may recommend your donation go to the IDEA School and/or to a specific student.
  • You take your contribution as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit when you file your tax return. It will either reduce what you owe or increase your state refund dollar-for-dollar.  See this video for a great explanation of how it works.

Thank you for redirecting your Arizona state income tax to support progressive education in Tucson and the continued ability of all families to access an IDEA School education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the School Tuition Tax Credit?
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 43-1089.01 provides a credit against state income tax obligations for Arizona taxpayers who make a contribution to a certified School Tuition Organization (such as IBE or APESF).  This contribution will be credited dollar-for-dollar against your Arizona state income tax liability, up to the limits noted above. By law, the STO must provide at least 90% of your donation in direct scholarship aid to schools/students.

How does a tax credit differ from a tax deduction?
A credit reduces the Arizona income taxes you owe dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction reduces the taxable income upon which the taxes are calculated.  A tax credit is better for your bottom line.

How do I get my tax credit?
A tax credit is subtracted directly from the income tax you owe the state. The credit is taken directly off of your state tax return when you file. For example, if your state income tax obligation is $1,200 for the year, and you make a $1,000 tax credit donation to IBE or APESF for the IDEA School, you’ll owe only the $200 balance in Arizona State taxes for the year. Tax Credit Donations can also increase your Refund.

For a great visual of how this all works, check out this video.

May I also make a tax credit contribution to a public school?
Yes, please do! We encourage you to support a public school of your choice with a Public School Tax Credit donation made directly to that school, and to support a worthy nonprofit helping Arizona families with the Charitable Organization Tax Credit as well (formerly known as the Working Poor Tax Credit).  Arizona law allows you to take all three.

Where can I obtain more information about the Arizona tuition tax credit program?
Please go to the Arizona Department of Revenue website or call DOR toll free at (800) 325-4090 for more info.


Please contact IDEA School C0-Director David Higuera at (520) 589-4933 with any questions or if you need help making your donation.  He’d be happy to help you!

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships based solely on a donor’s recommendation.  A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit for his/her own dependent, and may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.