Through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program for Children in Need
On May 7, 2001, by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority,Pennsylvania made history by becoming the first state to pass an education tax credit aimed at corporations and businesses, including pass-through entitites and LLC members.
The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) provides companies with a significant tax credit for donations to a non-profit scholarship organization. The Jewish Federation of the Greater Harrisburg is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as an authorized scholarship organization.
In short, the program provides Pennsylvania tax credits to offset the tax liability of a business or business owner that makes a qualified charitable contribution benefiting children from low-income families. The tax credit is taken in the year in which the contribution is made. With the contribution’s remaining eligibility for federal income tax charitable deduction, there is virtually no cost (or pennies on the dollar) to participate in the program. The EITC program is the ultimate WIN – WIN situation.
The EITC has accomplished what many in Pennsylvania have been advocating for years: to get the business community more involved in education. This tax credit redirects tax dollars to the schools via the charitable organization. It's that simple.
Businesses authorized to do business in Pennsylvania who are subject to one or more of the following taxes are eligible to participate in the EITC Program:
• Corporate Net Income Tax
• Capital Stock Franchise Tax
• Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax
• Title Insurance Companies Shares Tax
• Insurance Premiums Tax
• Mutual Thrift Institution Tax
• Personal Income Tax of S-Corporation Shareholders, Partners in a General Limited Partnership, or LLC Members.
Corporations (both “C” and “S”) can significantly reduce their Pennsylvania state tax liability by receiving tax credits for donations to state-approved scholarship organizations such as the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
Owners of sub-chapter S corporations and other small and medium-sized businesses that pay personal income tax on PA business income can fully participate in the program as well.
Corporations and business owners can choose between two distinct tax credit programs that provide needs-based scholarships to children from low income families attending the Silver Academy (K to Grade 8) or the Brenner Family Early Learning Center of the Jewish Community Center of Harrisburg (Pre-K to Kindergarten).
Participants in the EITC program may receive a state tax credit for up to 75% of their contribution; the credit can be increased to 90% of the contribution if the corporation or business owner agrees to provide the same amount for two consecutive tax years. Participants in the Pre-K EITC program may receive a tax credit equal to 100% of the first $10,000 contributed and up to 90% of the remaining amount contributed. Certain maximums may apply.
Participating corporations and/or business owners that make donations to the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg’s EITC Scholarship program can also claim a charitable tax deduction on their federal tax return.
Combining the two benefits means the cost to a business is just pennies on the dollar, and in many cases there simply is no cost.
Otto Banks, Executive Director of REACH Foundation, and Speaker Mike Turzai, showed their support for a $25 million increase in EITC funding at a press conference on June 29, 2016, held at the Dauphin County Library. Click here to view.
As supporters of School Choice, we urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives and ask that they support an increase of $25 million to the EITC Program.
Since participating in the EITC program, the Jewish Federation of the Greater Harrisburg has been able to distribute over $2.8 million in scholarships benefiting low-income families at the Brenner Family Early Learning Center of the Jewish Community Center of Harrisburg and the Silver Academy. Without these scholarships, the children of low-income families would not be able to afford the specific educational opportunities they have selected to best meet the needs of their children.
The Jewish Federation of the Greater Harrisburg awards the scholarships to children from families whose household incomes meet the Commonwealth’s guidelines. In partnership with the participating schools, household income is carefully substantiated, in a respectful manner, so as to insure full compliance with state policies.
And a business can donate to the program with virtually no cost. Pennsylvania provides generous tax credits, upwards of 90% to 100%! Plus the charitable contributions also qualify for the Federal tax deduction.
For more information contact Oren Yagil at 717-236-9555 x3299.
The application process is extremely efficient. The first step requires an interested business or business owner to apply to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the tax credit. (NOTE: Only online applications are accepted.) After the DCED reviews the application and confirms there is money available in the program, tax credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Once approval is received by letter from DCED, businesses must make their contribution(s) within 60 days.
Upon receipt of the contribution, the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg will provide substantiation of the donation. The business simply files this substantiation with the DCED to complete the process. The business is then able to claim the tax credit on its subsequent state tax filing. Specific procedures for business owners electing to pass through the EITC to individual tax returns are found in the application packets noted below.
As of 2013, the EITC application must be submitted online.
Given the popularity of the program (e.g. many savvy business owners have realized that this costs them virtually nothing to benefit their communities) the State typically runs out of tax credits. Typically only businesses that apply on the first day of eligibility are awarded scholarships.
Click below to see the tax savings you may achieve by your EITC contribution:
Sample Calculations for C-Corps
Sample Calculations for S-Corps/Pass-Through Entities
You may also obtain additional information by calling the PA Department of Community and Economic Development at 717-787-7120 or online at www.newpa.org.
Each year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania budgets a certain amount of funds for the EITC program. Applications for the tax credits are accepted on July 1 of each year (earlier only if it is for the 2nd year of a two-year commitment). Because of the popularity of the program, businesses are encouraged to apply for the credit as early as possible. However, applications are encouraged throughout the year as unallocated credits usually become available.
Here's how you can support two Jewish institutions with your EITC dollars.