Now’s the time to help our children

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF) (www.fosterfriendaz.org) – a statewide entity that has been meeting the unmet needs of children in foster care for 31 years, was able to benefit 50 percent more children in foster care this past year (from 2,700 children in 2014 to over 4,000 in 2015) as a direct result of individual taxpayers taking advantage of the Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization Tax Credit. Donating and claiming through the Foster Care Tax Credit directly benefits a child in foster care, today!

One way that AFFCF has been able to have direct and positive impact on a child in foster care is through its Keys to Success program. In its second year, Keys to Success continues to help youth in foster care aged 14–17 identify their interests, passions and strengths, and then work with the youth to translate these into viable career choices. From there, Keys to Success, through community partnerships, launches these youth down the path of their chosen career through educational plans, resume building, internships, job interviews and placement – and follows these youth one-on-one through the entire program. In 2015, Arizona Friends of Foster Children worked with 169 youth through the Keys to Success program. This would not be possible without the Foster Care Tax Credit.

The aptly named “Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization Tax Credit” is easy to claim, repays you for your generosity, and makes a real difference in the life of a child in foster care. This credit has a net-zero cost to taxpayers with no need to itemize. Earn a dollar-for-dollar tax credit up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for those filing jointly. The Foster Care Tax Credit does not conflict with either the Private or Public School Tax Credits. A taxpayer can claim the maximum amount of these, and still donate and claim the maximum amount under the Foster Care Tax Credit. Under the “Charitable Tax Credit” (aka “Working Poor Tax Credit”) a taxpayer can give $200 (individual) and $400 (joint filers) and then donate and claim the difference under the Foster Care Tax Credit.

Sadly, only 10 percent of taxpayers take advantage of the plethora of tax credits available. Imagine if tens of thousands of Arizona taxpayers took the initiative and let the Legislature know that we value the lives of our most vulnerable – children! This would have an immeasurable effect on the foster care system. It would send a loud message to our state representatives that we value our children….all of our children.

Let your checkbook speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and reap a tax benefit at the same time. A true example of a “win-win.” It is not a matter of should you? It’s a question of ‘why wouldn’t you?’

To find out more of what Arizona Friends of Foster Children does for our children statewide, go to www.affcf.org

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