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ACSTO PRESENTATION – February 13, 2022 

BY: MARK Kempf

Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO)  is a Scholarship Driven organization whose sole purpose is to make Christian Education affordable for everyone.  They believe every student should have the opportunity to learn not just in a private school but, a Christian School.  They partner with over 125 different Christian Schools all across the state of Arizona. 

Arizona Law requires that 90% of donated funds be awarded as scholarships. ACSTO awards 92% of recommended donations.  They operate on a 8% budget which is used to pay for operating costs and numerous resources for our schools, parents, and donors. 

You may donate up to the combined maximum of the Original and Overflow Tax Credits, on you Arizona state tax liability, whichever is less. Your state tax liability is the amount of money you must pay to the state in taxes based on your earnings. In exchange for your donation , the state gives a dollar for dollar tax credit, essentially taking the place of what you would have to pay to the state. However, your donation cannot exceed the annual donation maximum allowed, or your tax liability, whichever is less.

You receive a refund when you overpay toward your state taxes throughout the year. A credit is very different from a refund. Dollar for dollar, a credit offsets the tax you owe the state.  Arizona gives you a credit for each dollar you donate up to your state tax liability or the stated  maximum, whichever is less . When you take advantage of a credit, if  you normally get a refund, you’ll get a bigger refund!  Likewise, at the end of the year, if you typically owe tax, you’ll owe less or now receive a refund. 

Note: If you have no tax liability, you cannot receive a credit.  However, what you give to ACSTO may be considered a charitable gift.

You can identify a specific school and your donation will be used to award scholarships among applicants from that school. In addition, you may also recommend an eligible K-12 student (or preschooler with disabilities) who is not your child or dependent.  The law states, ”A tax payer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.” ACSTO has always discouraged this practice. 

A Donor’s recommendation does not guarantee a scholarship . ACSTO’s selection Committee must retain complete discretion regarding all rewards. Both Arizona law and the IRS regulations do not allow guarantees.  Recommendations are considered in the award process, but they are not the only factor.  The Selection Committee also consider the Financial Circumstances of the student’s family (a required factor by state law) and a Narrative about the student which are provided in the student’s Scholarship Application. 

You can Donate; online with a credit card, through our secure Donor Portal at ASCTO.org, or donate monthly, create a monthly donation schedule online through your Donor Portal account. Or you can donate by credit card y calling 480-820-0403 or you can simply donate by mail to PO Box 6580, Chandler, Az. 85246. 

If you think this is a program that would assist you with your state taxes and at the same time provide scholarship funds to support Christian education to students.  You can contact a Customer Service Specialist, they have the best training, are available, friendly, and helpful.  M-F, 9 AM TO 12PM and 1pm to 4pm. at 480-820-0403.

Mark Kempf grew up in a Lutheran family and attended a Christian School through High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He currently is a Chaplain at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.  Mark works part-time promoting Christian Education through scholarship funds under ACSTO program.  

For more information go to:  https://acsto.org/ 

Respectfully submitted, Terry Taylor Council Secretary