Tax law changes could mean projected annual loss of $272 million, 10,000 jobs, to Arizona nonprofits

Arizona taxpayers can still take deductions for charitable giving on state returns

Contributed Article

PHOENIX – With recently enacted changes in tax laws that double the standard deduction, many people who would normally itemize their returns – and be able to deduct donations for charitable giving – may no longer make charitable contributions because there is no financial incentive to do so. In Arizona, that could mean a projected annual loss of $272 million in charitable contributions – and a loss of 10,000 jobs – to the state’s nonprofit sector.

Arizona taxpayers can, however, take the deduction and make contributions by deciding to itemize, and the upcoming Arizona Gives Day may provide the means, motivation and widespread impact to make that happen.

“With Arizona Gives Day approaching April 2, as well as tax-filing season, we wanted to try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the impact of the new tax laws on donations to qualified, 501c3 nonprofit organizations,” said Kristen Merrifield, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Unfortunately, given the changes and resulting confusion, we saw a downward trend in year-end donations to nonprofit organizations across the state. We hope that through Arizona Gives Day, nonprofit organizations doing great work in communities statewide may find new sources of funding and donors may find credible, important local nonprofits to invest in on AZGives.org.”

A report by the Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University estimates that charitable giving could be $272.7 million lower in 2018 following introduction of the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA). Fewer Arizona taxpayers are expected to itemize deductions because the TCJA nearly doubles the federal standard deduction offered to both single and married taxpayers. 

The Seidman report indicates the total economic impact will include a $775.4 million reduction in GDP by the state, 10,587 fewer jobs and $493.5 million less in labor income.

Merrifield encouraged donors considering contributions to nonprofits through Arizona Gives Day to “be sure to check with their tax consultants regarding the impact of tax-law changes on their personal tax situations.”

Arizona Gives Day is a 24-hour online fund-raising event on April 2 that has raised more than $13.4 million since 2013. Arizona Gives Day, which raised $3.2 million in 2018, is hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and presented by FirstBank. Matson Money is a Platinum Sponsor.

Registration and re-enrollment for Arizona nonprofit organizations statewide interested in participating in Arizona Gives Day must be completed by March 1 for previously participating organizations and Feb. 22 for organizations participating for the first time at www.azgives.org.

Several changes have been implemented for the 2019 Arizona Gives Day.  Among them:

• A nominal $50 deposit at re-enrollment or registration.  The deposit will be refunded if the nonprofit raises $500 or more through the AzGives.org platform from April 1-15. The refund will be included in the first distribution of funds in early May. Nonprofits failing to pay the deposit will not be listed on the Arizona Gives Day website and will not receive support materials.

• A “roadmap” to guide visitors through the registration process

• Employee giving landing pages and business leaderboard page to engage employees in Arizona Gives Day and

• The opportunity to submit a request for support through the website.

For interested donors, AzGives.org is available for year-round giving and offers an advanced-search filter to find nonprofits by specific criteria, focus areas, and what donations may qualify for Arizona tax credits, which remain unchanged.  Donors also can create an account to pre-schedule donations, set up recurring donations and make changes to their giving throughout the year or can check out as a guest and give immediately.

The website also will provide a toolkit for participating nonprofits to assist in outreach through social media, email, news releases and other opportunities as well as offering training videos, promotional posters and flyers, logos, best practices, and successful fundraising strategies used by other nonprofits.

For more information visit www.azgives.org.

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