July 14, 2017

Act now to get tax benefit and help children attend a Catholic school

By John Shaughnessy

The opportunity has begun again for people who want to get the double bonus of helping children attend Catholic schools, and maximize the tax benefits of making a contribution to that effort.

Starting on July 1, the Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship program opened with an available $12.5 million in funds to support the effort of helping students attend a private school—an option that may not have been possible for their families without the program.

When donors make a contribution to the program, they will receive a tax credit that could be up to 50 percent, according to Kim Pohovey, director of the archdiocese’s Mission Advancement for Catholic Education Initiatives.

“Through this innovative program, every donor is able to maximize their giving,” Pohovey notes. “For instance, if a donor contributes a gift of $1,000 and receives the $500 state tax credit plus a federal deduction—which varies according to the individual donor’s tax status—that donor’s net gift, in terms of cost to them, may only be $150 to $360.”

At the same time, the tax credit scholarships help “struggling families to afford a quality, values-based Catholic education for their children,” she says.

“It not only offers them education options, it provides hope and a future. In turn, our schools prepare these students to be productive citizens and the future leaders of our community. This cycle of generosity benefits everyone.”

In the 2016-17 school year, contributions to the program raised more than $7 million in tax scholarships that supported students in the 69 Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

Pohovey is encouraging potential donors to make contributions to the program as soon as possible.

“As awareness of this program increases, we see these funds run out quicker each year,” she says. “The

$9.5 million allotted for the program last year exhausted on December 12, even though the program runs through June 30 of each fiscal year.

“State funds have increased to $12.5 million in 2017-18. However, with competition increasing among private schools throughout the state, we anticipate that the funds may run out even earlier this year. Historically, many donors like to wait until December to make their end-of-year contributions.  We want to emphasize that this great tax advantage option may not be available by the end of this year.” 

(For more information, about tax credit scholarships, contact Kim Pohovey at 317-236-1415 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1415. A video on the tax credit scholarship program can also be viewed through the link, http://bit.ly/2sVLKyN.)

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