Advocate encourages taxpayers to make donations before Dec. 31 - CBS 5 - KPHO

Child care advocate encourages taxpayers to make donations before Dec. 31

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The state of Child Protective Services in Arizona is still abysmal. On the heels of the independent team created by Governor Jan Brewer releasing new numbers, child advocates encourage taxpayers to donate by the end of the year. 

Out of 6,554 cases, 3,298 have been assigned to case workers. 1,438 have been responded to, and case workers have actually visited the children in 1,735 cases. 

Thanks to a new tax credit this year, you can allocate some money that would go into the general fund, and take your pick of a charity, instead. 

"It's another way for us to stand up and say we mean business," said attorney Tamera Shanker, who is also the chair of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. She said if you're expecting to owe the state any money this tax season, wait before you make the check out.

"If we can get 10,000 Arizona taxpayers to do this, that's going to catch the attention of our state body," Shanker said. The tax breaks for charities and schools now apply to foster care organizations, so any money you donate can be deducted from your taxes. 

"An individual can donate up to $400, and a couple filing jointly can donate up to $800 and that is a dollar for dollar tax credit," Shanker said.

"With this one up to the $800 level we'll see a lot of people take advantage of this credit," said certified public accountant Edward Zollars. He said you only have until Dec. 31 to make your donation. He also said it's a lot less complex these days. 

"There were all kinds of rules that made you decide maybe back six, seven years ago because it was too long ago, you might want to take a look at it now," Zollars said.

"We don't want the Band-Aid put on CPS anymore, we want a systemic change and if you don't do it, we will do it with our tax dollars," Shanker said.

For a full list of organizations that qualify under this tax credit visit: http://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/QualifyingCharitableOrganizations.aspx

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