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April 30, 2020
Would you like to save on your Illinois income tax liability? If yes, consider making a donation through Empower Illinois to provide scholarships for eligible Illinois students to attend qualified, non-public schools in Illinois and receive an income tax credit for 75 percent of your donation!
In 2017, Illinois passed the Invest in Kids Act (35 ILCS 40/1), which enacted the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program. This program offers a 75 percent income tax credit to individuals and business that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs).
Empower Illinois is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit SGO responsible for serving approximately 80 percent of Illinois private schools participating in the program. This includes all of Illinois’ Catholic Dioceses, most area Jewish schools, Lutheran Schools, secular schools, and many more.
For example, if a taxpayer makes a qualified contribution of $1,000 to Empower Illinois, they are eligible to claim a $750 tax credit. The tax credit is non-refundable, meaning a taxpayer cannot receive a refund for any amount the credit exceeds their income tax liability. Any non-refundable portion, however, may be carried forward and applied to the taxpayer’s income tax liability in the subsequent five taxable years.
A taxpayer cannot “double-dip” and deduct a donation to Empower Illinois as a charitable contribution on their federal tax return. However, after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, limited the itemized deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000, many individual taxpayers are no longer able to deduct charitable contributions on their federal tax return. Making a donation through Empower Illinois is an alternative for Illinois taxpayers to receive tax benefits for charitable contributions.
For more information on the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program and how to donate through Empower Illinois visit: