The Illinois Invest in Kids Act, recently passed by the Illinois state legislature, was designed to create a more equitable formula for school funding. It includes a provision that has the potential to provide increased scholarship funding for families who choose to enroll their children at private schools including Marian Catholic. The provision allows individuals and corporations to donate to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) and receive credit against their state taxes in return. The SGOs will then use the donated funds to grant scholarships to qualifying Illinois students to attend the private school of their choice.
The Empower Illinois website contains important information about the application process, including a checklist of materials families will need to apply for the state scholarships. Marian Catholic families should be fully prepared to submit an application through Empower Illinois on January 24, when they begin accepting applications. The Big Shoulders Fund SGO expects to open their official application in the second half of January as well. More information is available on their web site at https://www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org/. Families are encouraged to apply to multiple SGOs to increase their scholarship opportunities.
Empower Illinois will also be responsible for processing donations from individuals and corporations. Again, important information about how to register with the Illinois Department of Revenue, reserve tax credits, and make a scholarship donation is available on the Empower Illinois website at https://empowerillinois.org/.
Note: The registration process, which can take up to 10 business days, must be completed before tax credits can be reserved when donor applications open on January 2, 2018. If you are interested in receiving a tax credit, we recommend you begin the registration process now.
Illinois State Tax Credit Program/Invest in Kids Act Summary
Beginning in 2018, individuals and corporations will have the opportunity to make a donation to one or more Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), in exchange for a 75% credit on their Illinois tax return.
The SGOs will utilize the donations to grant scholarships to qualifying families for their students to attend private schools in Illinois, such as Marian Catholic.
Individuals may direct their donations to any private K-12 school in Illinois, including Marian Catholic. However, they cannot direct their donation to a specific student. Corporate donations will be placed in a general scholarship fund to be divided among all families applying for a scholarship, including Marian Catholic families.
Donations are capped at $1 million per taxpayer per year. The total number of tax credits statewide is capped at $75 million per year (or $100 million in donations).
Information for Families
Tax Credit Scholarships have the potential to increase the scholarship funds available to Marian Catholic families beginning with the 2018-19 school year. While not all families will be eligible for the new scholarships, we want to make sure everyone is aware of the opportunity. It is important that families who do qualify for the scholarships fully understand the process before applications open since scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Tax Credit Scholarships have the potential to cover 50%, 75%, or 100% of tuition and eligible fees depending on household income. A document highlighting the key elements of the scholarship program, including a chart outlining qualifying income levels, is available via the links below.
Families are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Tax Credit Scholarship Program material in order to be fully prepared to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Updated information will be posted on a regular basis.
Donors must establish an account through MyTax Illinois before they can apply for the tax credits. Those interested in applying for the credits are encouraged to create a MyTax Illinois account as soon as possible at mytax.illinois.gov/_/#2 to avoid any processing delays when the application goes live on January 2, 2018.
We anticipate the tax credit application will be available very early on January 2 through MyTax Illinois at tax.illinois.gov. If a direct link becomes available prior to January 2, we will post it here.
Tax credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Approval is automatic as long as the regional and statewide thresholds have not been met. We anticipate the thresholds will be met very quickly, so we encourage donors to apply within the first hour of the site opening on January 2.
Once your tax credit application is approved, you will be issued a Contribution Authorization Certificate that must be submitted, along with your donation, to the SGO within 60 days. (SGOs are still being established; we will share specific information regarding the SGO you should apply to as soon as it is available.)
Donors will receive a certificate of receipt from the SGO within 30 days of the donation. The SGO will also notify the Department of Revenue that a donation was made.
If a donor reserves a credit and does not donate or, gives less than the amount they indicated to the Illinois Department of Revenue, they forfeit their tax credit.
Donors cannot take a federal tax deduction for donations associated with the Invest in Kids Act.
Credits are non-refundable, but can be carried forward for five years. The Invest in Kids Act will automatically be repealed effective January 1, 2024 if the Illinois legislature does not extend the program.
Specific questions regarding Tax Credit Scholarships can be directed to Sr. Judine Hilbing, OP, Director of Scholarships/Tuition Assistance at 708-996-4624, email@example.com.