Since 2004, AZTO has supported families in making a Christian Education affordable. In the fall of 2022, Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program became universally available to all K-12 students in Arizona. Here is what you need to know regarding AZTO’s tuition tax credit program and the ESA program.
- Both programs are student specific. Program consideration is unique for each student. For example, if you have two students attending a private school, it may be financially wise to have an ESA contract for one student and, at the same time, have the other student funded by AZTO/STO awards. Another aspect to consider is Low-Income Corporate tax credit eligibility, as eligible students can receive significant tax credit awards. Each family needs to understand their unique situation.
- Held AZTO Awards. AZTO may hold pending awards for students that are ESA participants. An annual application is required for AZTO to hold pending awards for a future school year. On the Application Step 1, ESA section, please select option 3 “My student is participating with ESA. Their contract will not be canceled for the 2023/2024 academic year.”
- Participation. Whether you choose ESA or STO participation, AZTO recommends annual program participation for the entire school year. A student may not receive funding from both programs for the same period of time within the school year, per statute. Switching programs during the school year has the potential for creating several issues: potential violation of program rules, missed STO award cycles, loss of funding due to program timing constraints, substantiating refund proof to either program, substantiating closure notification, etc. IF a parent decides to switch programs within the school year, please contact AZTO to discuss your specific situation.
- Exiting ESA. If your student participated with ESA in the 22/23 school year and you wish to receive AZTO awards for the 23/24 school year, please apply with a 23/24 AZTO Application and submit the “ESA Application Closed Confirmation” or the “Non-renewal Notification” email. Both of these email documents are generated by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) upon closing your student’s ESA account or not renewing for the new school year. The ADE email detailing ESA non-participation is required in order to receive any tuition tax credit awards for the 23/24 school year. A screenshot of the ESA portal is insufficient for acknowledging this status.
- Donors. Arizona taxpayers have a choice where their tax dollars are sent. Please continue to make your annual tax credit donation to AZTO. Recommended donations for current ESA students will be accepted for potential use in another school year. You may also consider making a recommended donation for a non-ESA student or a school scholarship fund. AZTO helps thousands of students afford a Christian education each school year and benefits Arizona donors. A win-win!
- School communication. Your child’s school finance team will be a helpful resource in determining which program best fits your family. Parents must notify their student’s school of their ESA participation.
- Questions. Feel free to call us if you would like to talk over what program best suits your family. Phone: 602-295-3033