In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 1133 and Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law. The new law provides for the creation of student scholarship organizations (“SSOs”) that use Georgia income tax credit-eligible contributions to provide scholarships to independent school students.
A taxpayer making a donation to SSO of America receives an income tax credit against their Georgia income taxes for their contribution. For example, if a married couple filing a joint return owes $3,000 of Georgia income taxes and makes the maximum contribution to SSO of America of $2,500, they will only have to pay $500 of income taxes to the state of Georgia.
Each calendar year, as long as there is room available under the $50 million annual cap on tax credits established by HB 1133, a married couple filing a joint return can donate up to $2,500 of their income tax payments to SSO of America. The maximum for an individual is $1,000.
Yes. If, after applying the tax credit against the Georgia income tax due and applying all estimated tax payments and withheld income taxes, there is an overpayment, the taxpayer can elect to have all or a portion of the overpayment paid to him or her.
Yes, corporations can receive a tax credit for amounts contributed to the SSO of America Scholarship Program, up to 75 percent of their Georgia income tax liability. Presently, this tax credit is only fully available to “C” corporations. Until the law is changed, regardless of the amount contributed to SSO of America by an “S” corporation or other “pass through” entity, “S” corporation shareholders (or the owners of such other “pass-through entities”) are subject to the individual limitations of $2,500 or $1,000.
Yes, by placing the School’s name on the memo line of your contribution check, at least 92% of the donation will be allocated toward SSO of America scholarships to that School.
No. SSO of America does not accept donations designated for specific individuals. However, a donor to SSO of America may designate a Participating School as noted above. If so designated, the financial aid committee at the Participating School will have the discretion of deciding which qualified recipients will be recommended to SSO of America for the receipt of the SSO of America scholarships.
In order to ensure approval of an intended contribution in time to secure a Georgia income tax credit, an individual or corporation must complete and file with the Georgia Department of Revenue a Form IT-QEE-TP1 pre-approval form. This form is available on our web page and, once completed, should be mailed directly to the Georgia Department of Revenue (“DOR”) at the address noted. The Form must be postmarked for delivery to the DOR on or before November 30. Until an individual or corporation receives approval from the DOR, no payment is required. Within 30 days after receiving the DOR approval, the contribution to SSO of America must be made. Upon receipt of the approval Form from DOR, an individual or corporation should immediately deliver to SSO of America’s office a check payable to SSO of America together with a copy of the approved Form IT-QEE-TP1. If desired, be sure to designate specific Participating School in the memo section of the check. All contributions to SSO of America must be made within the 30-day period and prior to the end of the applicable calendar year.
The admissions office of each Participating School will explain the availability of the SSO of America Scholarship Program to interested applicants to the school. Any applicant family interested in receiving a SSO of America scholarship merely needs to express such interest to the admissions office. They will then be asked to provide proof of their child’s enrollment in a public school or eligibility to enter public kindergarten. If the applicant family is approved for a SSO of America scholarship, prior to enrollment, the family, Participating School, and SSO of America enter into a Scholarship Agreement.
The amount of the SSO of America scholarship received in each year is determined annually based on the availability of SSO of America funds designated for use at the Participating School, and the student’s compliance with behavioral, academic, and covenant standards.
SSO of America in its Scholarship Account earmarked for the Participating School holds any unused funds that have been designated for use at a Participating School. The designated funds (together with any interest income earned on the account) are available for providing ongoing financial aid to existing SSO of America scholarship recipients at the Participating School and for awarding future SSO of America scholarships at the Participating School.
If you have questions about the SSO of America Scholarship Program, please review the About SSO page or contact any Participating School.