FAQ

Lexington Education Foundation is a School Tuition Organization that falls under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code.  LEF provides scholarships for qualifying Arizona students that are made through individual and corporate donations. LEF is certified by the Arizona Department of Revenue to maintain compliance with the Private School Tuition Tax Credit Requirements.

There are several ways in which you can donate to LEF:

Donate OnlineDonor Portal

Donate by Phone – Call 1-623-349-4322 to donate over the phone. Our phone hours are Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm

LEF takes donations at any time of year. For donations made between January 1 and April 15th, a donor may choose to claim the tax credit for the previous or current year.

*If claiming for the previous year, donations must be made by the time you file taxes or by tax day, April 15th. Even if you file an extension, donations must be postmarked or submitted before midnight on April 15th.

You are permitted to donate up to the combined maximum of the Original Individual and Overflow/PLUS tax credits or your Arizona tax liability, whichever is less. 

Your Arizona tax liability is the amount of money that you must pay to the state in taxes based on your earnings. In exchange for any donation you make, Arizona will give you a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. This essentially takes the place of what you would have to pay to the state. Your donations cannot exceed the annual amount allowed or your tax liability.

In order to claim the Overflow/PLUS tax credit, you must donate the maximum amount to the Original Individual tax credit first.

For current maximums, please visit the donation page by clicking here.

If you do not have state tax liability, your donation can be considered a charitable gift on your taxes.

Arizona law requires that 90% of donated funds are awarded as scholarships. Any amount not used for scholarships is used to cover administration and operation costs.

You can claim the tax credit by using the Arizona 301 and 323 forms along with state income tax forms. However, if you make a donation to the Overflow/Plus program, you also need to file a 348 form. All these forms and more can be found at azdor.gov.

If you donate through our donor portal, you may print your receipt at any time. If you donate by phone, an annual receipt statement will be mailed to you by January 31 of the following year.

Your donation may be eligible for a federal tax deduction. Please speak to your tax professional about a possible federal reduction.

You can fill out the LEF online application every school year. Financial information will be required to meet eligibility guidelines created by the state for School Tuition Organizations. Once LEF has received your application, your child or children will be eligible to be considered for the LEF scholarships.

ESA guidelines state that while a parent has a contract with the ESA program, no student may receive both the ESA and STO scholarship funding for the same period.

For more information Contact Us or give us a call at 1-623-349-4322 Mon. – Fri. 9am-5pm

Homeschool students are not eligible for scholarships. Students must be enrolled in a private school full-time to receive an STO scholarship.

Income levels for free or reduced-price lunches for the academic year 2020/2021 can be found at the following address:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-20/pdf/2020-05982.pdf

Reduced price lunch annual income eligibility guidelines by household size are shown in the table below, along with the next income threshold comparison specified in the statute.

Academic Year 2020/2021

Household Size Reduced price lunch income threshold (185% of poverty level) 342.25% of poverty level (185% of 185% of poverty level)
1 $23,606 $43,671
2 $31,894 $59,004
3 $40,182 $74,337
4 $48,470 $89,670
5 $56,758 $105,002
6 $65,046 $120,335
7 $73,334 $135,668
8 $81,622 $151,001
Each additional member $8,288 $15,333

The Lexington Education Foundation (LEF) is passionate about enriching our children’s experiences and empowering families with the freedom to guide their children’s educational future. Founded in 2016, LEF is committed to providing financial support to families as well as access to the educational tools and community resources needed to ensure each student’s unique success. While the mission of the Lexington Education Foundation is to support all students and their families with their educational dreams, LEF primarily focuses on supporting students who have disabilities or special needs.

Qualified school means a nongovernmental primary or secondary school, or a preschool for handicapped students, that is located in Arizona and that does not discriminate based on race, color, handicap, familial status or national origin. Qualified school does not include a charter school or any program operated by a charter school.

No. The amount of the individual income tax credit is to be indexed annually, based on the growth in the Metropolitan Phoenix CPI, beginning 1/1/11. If the CPI decreases, the credit amount is not to be indexed downward.

You can donate any amount you like, but you can only declare the maximum tax credit, based on your filing status. Anything over these amounts can be carried forward for 5 years or treated as a charitable deduction. Please consult a tax advisor for more details.

To receive a tax credit and take advantage of the Arizona Scholarship Tuition State tax credit program, you must have an Arizona State income tax liability. Please consult with a tax advisor or CPA before donating.

How to become a donor to our school tuition organization:

  • You can donate online with your credit card by filling out our online form through our secure site.
  • To donate by check, print and fill out the donation form and mail to:

                Lexington Education Foundation
                1337 S Gilbert Rd
                Suite 112
                Mesa, AZ 85204

           Please make the check payable to Lexington Education Foundation (please do not put a specific school or child’s name in the memo).
           Please contact us if you have any questions or need help deciding when to make your donation.

  • Or you can donate by taking our Payroll Withholding Donation Form to your employer and ask if they will participate in this program.

Lexington Education Foundation accepts donations throughout the year. Donations must be made prior to filing your taxes. For donations made between January 1 and April 15, you may choose whether to claim the tax credit for the previous or current tax year. In order to have the option to choose which year you claim the credit in, your donations must be postmarked or received online before midnight on April 15th.

Yes, you can set up automatic deductions monthly on our secure site at lexingtonscholarships.com.

A tax credit is more beneficial than a deduction. Credit reduces your Arizona taxes (the bottom line) dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction reduces the taxable income upon which the taxes are calculated.

You can still contribute. The amount of your refund will increase by the amount of your donation as long as your total tax credit does not exceed your total state tax obligation.

There are two ways to make a difference with two opportunities to donate!

Tax Year 2020 Cap:

“Original Individual” Tax Credit max donation = $593 single or $1,186 married.

“Overflow/Plus/Switcher” Tax Credit max donation = $590 single or $1,179 married.

You can receive a dollar for dollar refund up to your AZ tax liability or up to the maximum allowed credit, whichever has the lesser value.

Individual Tax Credit:

The Individual tax credit program allows Arizona taxpayers to donate money to Arizona Tax Credit and receive a tax credit of up to $1,186 for married couples filing jointly or $593 for single for the 2020 tax year.

Overflow/Plus/Switcher Tax Credit:

This new tax credit was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in February 2012 and became effective in August 2012. The Overflow Tax Credit is in addition to the Individual tax credit. A donor must first give the maximum toward the original tax credit, but then has the opportunity to give an additional $1,179 if married filing jointly or $590 for a single filer.

For both tax credits, a taxpayer may donate through April 15th and count their donation as a tax credit for the preceding tax year. 

Tax Year 2021 Cap:

“Original Individual” Tax Credit max donation = $611 single or $1,221 married.

“Overflow/Plus/Switcher” Tax Credit max donation = $608 single or $1,214 married.

You can receive a dollar for dollar refund up to your AZ tax liability or up to the maximum allowed credit, whichever has the lesser value.

Individual Tax Credit:

The Individual tax credit program allows Arizona taxpayers to donate money to Arizona Tax Credit and receive a tax credit of up to $1,221 for married couples filing jointly or $611 for single for the 2020 tax year.

Overflow/Plus/Switcher Tax Credit

This new tax credit was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in February 2012 and became effective in August 2012. The Overflow Tax Credit is in addition to the Individual tax credit. A donor must first give the maximum toward the original tax credit, but then has the opportunity to give an additional $1,214 if married filing jointly or $608 for a single filer.

For both tax credits, a taxpayer may donate through April 15th and count their donation as a tax credit for the preceding tax year.

When making a donation under the Individual Tax Credit, you can claim the tax credit by using the Arizona 301 and 323 forms along with state income tax forms. However, if you make a donation under the Overflow/Plus/Switcher program, you also need to file a 348 form. Click on the forms for a link or all these forms and instructions can be found at azdor.gov.

Yes! We will consider your recommendation when you donate to Lexington Education Foundation. You may recommend anyone who is not your child or dependent. If you have no particular child or school you would like to recommend, you can choose General Fund on the donation form. Lexington Education Foundation’s selection committee retains complete discretion regarding all awards.

Arizona law requires that 90% of donated funds be awarded as scholarships. LEF is committed to donating 98% of the original and overflow income tax credit we receive to qualified K-12 students in Arizona.

Yes, if donating by credit card, you will receive an emailed receipt within 24 hours. If mailing a check, you will receive a receipt per your request on your donor form, either email or standard mail. Please give 2 weeks for mailed receipts.

Yes and No

  • Yes, you can claim the remainder amount of your donation if it is more than your AZ Income Tax Liability or the maximum allowed amount of the original and the overflow combined for your filing status. 
  • No, you cannot claim the same monies as a tax credit and a federal income tax deduction.

No, you can carry over the remaining amount as a tax credit the following year up to 5 consecutive years.

Example: If you have a tax liability of $500 in 2016 and you donate $2000, you can only take a tax credit of $500 for 2016, the remaining $1500 can be taken as a tax liability credit up to 5 consecutive years for the amount of your liability for each year until the remainder $1500 is claimed.

All Students attending and planning to attend a private school in Arizona should take advantage of the Original Tax Credit Program and the Overflow/Plus/Switcher Program if they qualify.

To qualify for a scholarship under the switcher individual income tax credit, the child must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Attended a public school as a full-time student for at least 90 days of the prior fiscal year and then transferred from the public school to a private school; OR
  2. Is enrolling in a private school kindergarten; OR
  3. Is enrolling in a private preschool program for students with disabilities; OR
  4. Is a dependent of a member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in Arizona pursuant to military orders; OR
  5. Received for any year a scholarship under one of the above criteria OR from the low income corporate donation program or the disabled/displaced corporate donation program if the child continued to attend a private school in subsequent years.

The following students are not eligible for a scholarship from the PLUS program: 

  1. Current private school students who have not received any STO scholarship
  2. Current private school students who have only received a scholarship from the original individual scholarship
  3. Homeschooled students (unless they spent 90-days in a public or charter school in the prior year)
  4.  

Yes! A current completed application must be on file for Lexington Education Foundation to consider a scholarship for a child for the current academic school year. As a parent or guardian you must apply every year, since applications expire at the end of each school year. Donor recommendations do not guarantee a scholarship and are not the only factor that Lexington Education Foundation considers when allocating an award.

Parents and guardians need to apply for a new scholarship for their child or children each school year.

All applications must be fully completed and all required documents must be attached and sent via email to lef@lexingtoneducationfoundation.com.

If there is something missing, we will contact you via email after the application has been reviewed. You will have an opportunity to turn in and correct any information required.

We ask that the parent notifies Lexington Education Foundation as soon as possible. 

Depending on the school, either you may apply for a scholarship the new private school partners with or you will have to reapply for a new scholarship with Lexington Education Foundation with the new school information. It is the previous school’s responsibility to allocate funds from the date of withdrawal to the end of the school year and return the funds to Lexington Education Foundation.

Public school verification form is required if you are switching from public to private school. This is required to be considered eligible for the Overflow/Plus/Switcher tax credit scholarship funds if approved. The family is responsible for filling this out, taking it to the PUBLIC school where the student was enrolled, getting confirmation signatures, then attaching it to the online application. You do not need to do anything with the private school.

Lexington Education Foundation does require the first 2 pages of your federal income tax return for every member in the household. The School Tuition Organization Manual from the AZ Department of Revenue requires that an Original Individual Income Tax Credit and Overflow/Plus/Switcher Tax Credit STO must consider financial need when awarding scholarships, but it is not a sole deciding factor.

No, there is no income limit to apply for a scholarship. However, income must be considered.

No, you must fill out one application per student, this includes any correlating documents pertaining to each student. However, only one set of federal income tax returns per household is required.

Yes, you can receive multiple scholarships from multiple STO’s up to the amount of the student’s full tuition. If the funds you received is greater than the students tuition, it is the school’s responsibility to return the over payment to the correct STO.

Yes! Anyone can apply for a scholarship as long as they meet the requirements.

An application must be completed either online or printed and emailed. All required documents must be attached to the application or uploaded and submitted with the online application.

Qualified school means a nongovernmental primary or secondary school, or a preschool for special needs students, that is located in Arizona and that does not discriminate based on race, color, handicap, familial status or national origin. Qualified school does not include a charter school or any program operated by a charter school.

The scholarship can cover tuition only. It is not to be used for any other expenses or fees.

The ESA statute (A.R.S. 15-2402 (B)(3)) requires that a student cannot receive an STO scholarship and have an ESA for the same time period. However, an STO scholarship can be awarded for the remainder of the school year once an ESA contract has ended.

No, homeschooled children must be enrolled in a qualified Arizona private school to qualify for an STO scholarship.

No. Working with another parent or group of parents to recommend each other’s child or direct funding violates Federal and Arizona law.

All unused funds must be returned to Lexington Education Foundation so it may be awarded to another qualifying student.

  • If a student receives monies from one or more STO’s that exceeds the tuition amount, it is the schools responsibility to return any money over the tuition amount to the appropriate STO.
  • If a student who received a scholarship from LEF is withdrawn from the private school they were attending, it is the schools responsibility to return the prorated amount from the day of withdrawal to the last day of school to LEF.

Funds will be dispersed throughout the school year.

Yes, a Receipt/Invoice is to be emailed to lef@lexingtoneducationfoundation.com on or 15 days after receiving the award(s).

The amount owed to the state of Arizona related to an individual’s source in income. State tax liabilities are paid to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Tax liabilities can be adjusted using various resources.

A measure of changes in the purchasing-power of a currency and the rate of inflation. The consumer price index expresses the current prices of a basket of goods and services in terms of the prices during the same period in a previous year, to show the effect of inflation on purchasing power. It is one of the best known lagging indicators.

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