* Peoria Journal Star…
Jan. 1 may be the start of the new year, but Jan. 2 marks the start of a controversial new program that adds up to millions in tax breaks for Illinois residents and millions more in scholarships for private-school students.
If Illinois follows the history of other states, taxpayers will be up and online early Tuesday, snapping up a maximum of $75 million in tax credits available for making donations to the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program.
The tax credits, administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue, translate to as much as $100 million in scholarship donations to parochial and private schools throughout the state.
* Last week…
“Many of my clients are very interested in it,” said Neil Kawashima, a tax attorney with McDermott, Will & Emery who counsels wealthy individuals and families. “Obviously [there’s] the philanthropic benefit of helping low-income children obtain scholarships for tuition to private schools and parochial schools, but also there are significant tax benefits as well.”
He expects all the tax credits the state has set aside could be claimed within “days” because there are annual online stampedes for the credits in other states with similar plans.
And if other states are any indication, Illinois will want to brace for some serious interest: In Georgia, one of 17 others with a similar subsidy, all available tax credits have been snapped up by donors on New Year’s Day each year since 2015.
Illinois apparently ain’t Georgia.
* Governor’s office press release…
Illinois’ new Invest in Kids scholarship program — which gives low- to middle-income students opportunities to attend non-public schools that best meet their educational goals — attracted more than $36 million in pledged contributions on Tuesday, Jan. 2, the first day the state began accepting applications, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today.
Taxpayers can contribute up to $1.3 million to eligible organizations and receive an income tax credit equal to 75 percent of their approved contributions. The state caps total yearly contributions at $100 million.
“When we unleash the power of private-sector investment incentives like Invest in Kids, great things are possible,” Rauner said. “Within its first hour of going live, more than one-third of all Invest in Kids contributions have been allocated for the 2018 tax year. This outpouring of generosity is truly a testament to the many Illinoisans who believe in offering students and their families a choice in their education.”
Taxpayers wishing to contribute to Invest in Kids may apply online through MyTax Illinois, the Illinois Department of Revenue’s free online account management program.
Individuals and businesses must apply to the Illinois Department of Revenue to obtain Contribution Authorization Certificates that permit them to make authorized contributions to one of the approved scholarship granting organizations. Those organizations, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible Illinois students to attend qualified non-public schools in Illinois. The application process ensures equal access to the $75 million in tax credits available each year.