Individuals and businesses can contribute to two different programs for education improvement through the Education Donations Portal and be eligible to receive a credit for the donation.
The first program provides supplemental funding to public schools for innovative educational programs. The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) administers this credit by collecting contributions and dispersing the funds to innovative educational programs.
The second program accepts contributions to student scholarship organizations (SSOs). An SSO is a nonprofit organization designed to provide scholarships to private school students. The SSO must register with the Secretary of State and with the Department of Revenue before it can receive donations.
Contributors can donate any amount to either program, but the tax credit is limited to $150 for each credit. For example: If you donate $200, your tax credit can only be $150. If you donate $50, your tax credit is $50.
Credits are pre-approved on a first-come, first-served basis at the time you make your donation or pledge until the total credits claimed reaches the threshold for the year. Contributors can still donate to the programs if the threshold is reached, but they will not receive a tax credit for the donation. The threshold is $3 million per credit.
To donate, visit the Education Donations Portal and follow the prompts to enter your taxpayer identification number and register your donation or pledge. Registering the donation or pledge will make you eligible for the tax credit. Once your donation is preapproved, you will receive a confirmation code to keep with your records. To claim the credit on your 2018 tax return, you need to donate the funds directly to OPI or the SSO by December 31. For more information about donations to Innovative Educational Programs or SSOs, click the “Help” link on the upper right corner of the website portal.