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Scholarship Tax Credit Program
The Invest in Kids Act: Overview of 
Tax Credit Scholarships

Our Lady of Grace families have a new and historic opportunity to 
benefit from the Illinois tax-credit scholarship program formed 
under the Invest in Kids Act (IIK) (Public Art 100-0465). This new 
program offers access to a quality education for low-income and 
working-class students at Our Lady of Grace that may have had 
difficulty affording a Catholic education previously. By applying for
 these scholarships, families are HELPING Our Lady of Grace by 
allowing us to shift our dollars from scholarships towards other growth initiatives, educational advancement and capital projects. Individual or business taxpayers can earn a 75% tax credit on their contribution to this historic program and have an opportunity to impact Catholic schools and families in a big way! 

We're always here to help and to answer questions!
Joan Leonard, Principal jleonard@olgca.org (309)755-9771

For Our Lady of Grace Families (Applications accepted beginning January 24, 2018. Scholarships to be awarded February 1, 2018):

Students from low-income households K-12 can apply for scholarships for the 2018/19 school year beginning January 24, 2018 and they will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, so DO NOT DELAY in applying.

Your family could receive a scholarship that covers 
50-100% of tuition and eligible fees for the next school year! 
An eligible student is a member of a household whose 
federal adjusted gross incoming the year before he or she 
initially receives a scholarship under this program, as 
determined by the Department of Revenue, does not 
exceed 300% of the federal poverty level and, once the child
 receives a scholarship, does not exceed 400% of the federal 
poverty level (see chart) 
*Students could be awarded up to 
the amounts outlined in the chart if funds are available via 
the scholarship program

From January 24 to April 1, priority will be given to students who received a scholarship during the previous school year, who are members of a household whose income falls in line with the chart provided in this brochure, who reside within an under-performing focus district, and who are siblings of students currently receiving a scholarship. After April 1, all other qualifying students will be able to receive scholarships. All students who receive scholarships will be required to take the state assessment. Gifted, ESL or special needs' students may be able to get higher scholarships. Eligibility to receive a scholarships is based on your family's household income.

Ready to apply? Families will need to have digital copies of the following:

  • A copy of your family’s 2016 federal tax return. If the family did not file a 2016 tax return, please visit Empower Illinois here.
  • Proof of Illinois residency (i.e. current driver’s license or state ID, or current utility bill)
  • A birth certificate, federal or state ID, or passport for your student(s)
  • The student’s prior semester report card (unless beginning school for the first time)
  • If available, a letter of acceptance or enrollment at Our Lady of Grace.

We're here to help! Download our Families Brochure. Our Lady of Grace will offer opportunities for families to walk through the application together with our staff. This will help ensure families have an opportunity to apply for the scholarship correctly, and on time.  Dates/Times for these events will be coming soon.

For Those Who Would Like to Contribute to the Program (Contributions accepted beginning January 2, 2018, SIGN UP NOW!)

Individual and business taxpayers can receive a tax credit in the amount of 75% of your total qualified contribution to this historic program! 

To participate, you must have a registered My Tax Illinois Account for filing either individual income tax or business income tax in order to apply for approval to make a contribution. Beginning January 2, 2018, My Tax Illinois will begin accepting applications from individuals and businesses for the 2018 tax year who wish to participate in this program.

To apply, individuals and businesses must report their intention to make an authorized contribution to an approved Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). You are encouraged to create a MyTax Illinois account as soon as possible to avoid any processing delays when the application system goes live. Please note that the SGO will manage distribution of scholarship awards, not the State of Illinois, nor the Diocese of Peoria.

  • You must request approval to make a contribution and receive the income tax credit prior to making your contribution. Approval to contribute will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis in a geographically proportionate manner based on enrollment in recognized non-public schools in Illinois. Donors must contact the Illinois Department of Revenue no later than January 2, 2018 in order to be eligible for the tax credit.
  • Approval is granted automatically as long as the regional and statewide thresholds have not been met. Up to $75 million in tax credits will be awarded per calendar year, beginning in 2018 for taxes filed in 2019, but please do not delay in requesting approval.
  • For the purpose of awarding credit, Illinois will be divided into five regions. Contributing taxpayers will be required to select the region, SGO, and amount they wish to contribute. Our Lady of Grace is in Region 3, the North Central Counties.
  • Once your application has been submitted and the Illinois Department of Revenue confirms that credits are available, they will issue you a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC). The CAC will be issued electronically to your MyTax Illinois Account within three business days of approval of your application.
  • You must make your contribution to the SGO within 60 days after issuance of the CAC. You must also provide a copy of the CAC to the SGO. Within 30 days of receiving your contribution, the SGO will issue you a Certificate of Receipt (COR) through you MyTax Illinois Account.
  • An individual taxpayer may specify Our Lady of Grace (as part of Region 3) as the school he/she wishes his/her contribution to benefit.
  • Approved credits may be claimed beginning with the filing of your 2018 income tax return. You cannot take a tax credit under this Act if you claimed any portion of this contribution as a federal income tax deduction.
  • Individuals who are married and filing a joint return are considered on taxpayer for purposes of making qualified contributions.
  • If you don't use all of your income tax credit, you cannot receive a refund. However, any credit amount that exceeds your tax liability for the year may be carried forward and applied to your tax liability in the subsequent five taxable years. Credits carried forward do not require additional approval. Credits are applied to the earliest year for which there is a tax liability. Credits cannot be carried back to a prior tax year.
  • Donations by individuals are capped at $1 million.
  • The credit is non-refundable, but it can be carried forward for five years.
  • Please note: To make a new Invest in Kids contribution, you must apply each year.

For Those Who Would Like to Help Us Promote This Opportunity

We have brochures available at Our Lady of Grace. Our brochure for donors is available for download here. This Illinois State Tax Credit program is a wonderful opportunity for individuals or businesses to support Catholic education at Our Lady of Grace and to also benefit from a 75% tax credit on their contribution - a truly historic day for our families and supporters!