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1615 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62702

Office for Catholic Schools

Donating to a Tax Credit Scholarship

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, “Invest in Kids,” provides a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit to individuals and corporations that contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs award scholarships to eligible students from low-income families. Donors will use money already owed to the state (taxes) and donate it to a needs-based scholarships instead, all while receiving a 75 percent state tax credit.

Through this program:

  • An individual or corporation will receive a 75 percent credit on donations to an SGO. For example, if a person donates $100,000, they will receive a state tax credit of $75,000.
  • Individual donors can designate their donations to Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Catholic Schools.
  • The credit can be rolled over for five years.
  • Donors are prohibited from receiving a federal tax deduction for these donations.
  • The program is capped at $100 million in donations, resulting in $75 million in total tax credits issued.

What is the process for donating?

Beginning on January 2, 2019, individual and corporate donors will be able to reserve tax credits through mytax.illinois.gov by following these steps:

  1. Set up an account at mytax.illinois.gov. This site will have the credit application on January 2.
  2. Apply for a tax credit on mytax.illinois.gov as soon as the application is open on the website. Donors will need to provide at least the following information (a complete list will be provided once available):
    • Social Security Number
    • Personal (or company) name and contact information
    • Name of SGO to which he/she plans to donate (Note: The SGO of choice for the Diocese is Empower Illinois)
    • Amount he/she plans to donate
    • Region to which he/she plans to donate
  3. Donate to an SGO within 60 days of application being approved (Note: The SGO of choice for the Diocese is Empower Illinois).
    • Designate the donation to Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Catholic Schools
  4. Provide certificate from the SGO to use tax credit when filing a 2018 return in 2019.

Strong interest may cause the cap to be reached within minutes of opening, as has happened in other states offering similar programs.

Interested in donating?

Please contact Shaun Riedell at or 217-698-8500 ext. 114 to assist you through this process.