July 27, 2018

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

Criterion staff report

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

(Related: Information about the Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program and its impact on Catholic schools in the archdiocese)

Starting on July 1, the Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship program opened with an available $14 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.

A Tax Credit Scholarship of at least $500 per child, given for one year, allows an eligible student to receive the state school voucher the following year and for up to 12 years of Catholic education in a Catholic school—a potential of $60,000 in state voucher assistance.

When donors make a contribution to the program, they will also receive at least a 50 percent tax credit, according to Kimberly Pohovey, director of the archdiocese’s Mission Advancement for Catholic Education Initiatives.

“Few contributions can have as significant of an impact on our society as a gift to fund a child’s education,” Pohovey says. “The Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program offers a unique opportunity for those who believe in Catholic education to provide a hope-filled, Christ-centered future for our young people while lifting our entire community. 

“Few donors need an incentive to do so, but are rewarded with a 50 percent state tax credit on the amount of their donation in addition to federal tax savings, thus making their after-tax cost a fraction of their original gift.”

Pohovey says that donors could also benefit even more this year because of the new federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

“Giving to the Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program is an even more attractive option for charitable giving because the new law effectively doubled the standard deduction for both single and married joint filers,” she says. “Even if the donation doesn’t put the donor’s total itemized deductions above the new standard deduction threshold, the donor will still receive a credit against their Indiana income tax equal to 50 percent of the amount donated.”

The Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program is “a win-win for students and Hoosier taxpayers,” says Betsy Wiley, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Quality Education, Indiana’s largest scholarship granting organization.

“We’re grateful the legislature has continued to support the growth of this program, which supports educational opportunities for thousands of Indiana students while providing tax relief to generous donors,” Wiley says

She also notes that interested donors should act quickly as tax credits have proven to be popular and are likely to be exhausted before the end of the calendar year.

In the 2017-18 school year, contributions to the program raised $6 million in tax scholarships that supported students in the 68 Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

(To learn more about giving to a scholarship granting organization or to donate securely online, visit www.i4qed.org/sgo/donors. If you have any questions concerning Tax Credit Scholarships or giving to archdiocesan Catholic schools, contact Kimberly Pohovey at kpohovey@archindy.org or 1-800-382-9836, ext. 1568.)

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