Donor FAQs: Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

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What is the NEW Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program?

In August 2017, with bipartisan support, the State House and Senate passed a comprehensive education funding bill that was signed into law by the governor. The law includes a provision for tax credit scholarships, which provide strong incentives for donors to support non-public school scholarships for low-income students in the state. Illinois students from low-income families may use these new scholarships to attend a non-public school of their choice.

This legislation represents a major step forward that will help create more equity in school funding throughout Illinois, and for the first time provide real school choice for students and their families.

What does this mean for Providence Catholic?

The new legislation allows for benefactors to donate to Empower Illinois and designate Providence Catholic High School.  Benefactors may make a charitable contribution and receive a state tax credit of 75%.  Empower Illinois will provide scholarship dollars for families meet the income requirements.

How much is the tax credit worth?

An individual or corporate donor will receive a 75% state tax credit on their donation. This means that if a donor donates $10,000, they will receive a state tax credit of $7,500. Donations by both individual and corporate donors are capped at $1 million. Individual donors can direct their donations to the school or subset of schools of their choice.  Corporate donors cannot designate particular schools.

Can a donor receive a federal tax deduction in addition to a state tax credit for the same donation?

No. The legislation specifically prohibits this.  However, a bill is being prepared to offer this benefit at the federal level. Seventeen states across the nation offer similar programs to Illinois.

How does that donation process work?

Individual and corporate donors will be able to reserve tax credits on the Illinois Department of Revenue website.   Here is a direct link to

  1. Determine the contribution amount to give as an individual or corporation for student scholarships at Providence Catholic High School.
  2. Go to the Department of Revenue website ( to set up and activate an account. This may take 10 days.
  3. Return to the website to reserve donation amount and receive a tax credit. The benefactor will need:
    1. Registration ID from IL Department of Revenue
    2. The name of the SGO – Providence Catholic is using Empower IL
    3. Region of designated school – Providence Catholic is Region #3
    4. Amount of donation

The benefactor will then have 60 days to complete the donation to Empower IL.  Empower IL will distribute the funds in the form of scholarships to Providence Catholic in the next school year.

Other helpful links:

Empower Illinois 

PCHS Tax Credit Newsletter 


Any questions, please contact Ed Barrett at (815) 717-3164 or

Families Applying For IL State Tax Credit Scholarship

For families applying for an IL State Tax Credit Scholarship please follow this link

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