NASA Grant and Tax Credit

When does the NASA grant open and where would it show up? I can’t seem to find it for the life of me. Also, is tax credit able to be used for paying for registration and competition fees? Our team is in Scottsdale, Arizona so I don’t know if the rules for Arizona and tax credit are different from other states. What else can tax credit be used for besides travel which is what I am aware of? Is it able to be used for purchasing from VEX, AndyMark, WCP, etc?

If awarded the NASA Grant goes into your account with FIRST which can be used for registration.

I’m not sure if the NASA grant money is eligible for regrant back to you to use locally for tools/parts or not.

I do not beleive the NASA grant is elegible for a regrant. Im fairly certain those funds are restricted and can only be used for registration costs.

The extracurricular tax credit program (officially the Public School Tax Credit) is unique to Arizona and is for State taxes only.

First thing I will say on the tax credit program is talk to your school administration about their process and restrictions for using those funds, because it is up to your individual school or district to make sure that the eligibility guidelines for the program are being followed. There has to be a team fee, it has to be approved by certain administration members, the team has to meet certain requirements to be considered an extracurricular, etc. Your district may have different rules and interpretations around those requirements so it is important to follow their guidelines.

With that out of the way, my experience with two different districts has been that you can generally use the funds on travel and on goods that the district maintains possession of. Travel has been our most frequent use, paying for hotel rooms, bus transportation, or airfare. We have also been able to use the funds on robot parts and tools for our shop (these are often lumped together on purchases). I have been told that tax credit funds cannot be used for food or for goods that students would keep, such as team t-shirts. If you had a team uniform that would stay with the team after a student graduates that is probably okay, I have heard that is a common use of the funds by sports teams (equipment like helmets or marching band uniforms).

We’ve never tried to use the funds for registration since I have always been with teams that had a sponsor donate directly to FIRST. Many big sponsorships and grants are restricted to use for registration only, as noted above for the NASA grant, so you would generally want to avoid using the tax credit funds for registration unless you are certain you will not land any of these large donations.