Tucson Weekly—How you can help make the world a better place, at no cost to you!

The end is nigh! The end of the year, at least, although some of you out there might be thinking it’s also the end of the world as we know it.

However you want to look at it, if you’re thinking about making an end-of-the-year, spirit-of-the-season contribution to a local nonprofit while getting a tax benefit, this is the time. (Though, thanks to a change in the law, you actually have until April 15, 2017, to make a 2016 contribution, but go ahead and do it now to get it out of the way, why don’t you?)

Let’s face it, nonprofits that help people at the bottom of the ol’ economic ladder are likely to need more help in the coming years if House Speaker Paul Ryan manages to get his “Better Way” plan signed into law.

In the state of Arizona, you can take advantage of a charitable tax credit that doesn’t actually cost you anything at all, as long as you owe at least $400 in state income taxes. That number, incidentally, has doubled since last year, so you can make a big impact with your contribution.

Here’s how it works: You give up to $400 (or $800 for a married couple filing jointly) to a charity that aids the working poor. Then you get the money back next year when you file your taxes. It’s a way of directing some of your taxes directly to the nonprofits that help those in need. Hey, why should big corporations get all the tax breaks?

Here are some of our favorite eligible nonprofits:

Help out teens who are living on the edge with a contribution to Youth on Their Own, which helps out students in Pima County schools who can no longer live with their parents for a variety of reasons, including sexual or physical abuse in the home. Make a donation by calling Youth on Their Own at 293-1136.

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