Illinois Invest in Kids Act

Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Public Act 100-0465 created the Invest in Kids Act. This Act allows state income tax credits for individual and corporate taxpayers who make authorized contributions to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible students to attend non-public schools in Illinois.

The Children at the Crossroads Foundation (CATC) has been approved as an SGO under the Act. Authorized donations to CATC are eligible for a 75% tax credit and can be directed to FXW. CATC will use such contributions to fund scholarships for FXW students.

The Department can issue up to $75 million in tax credits per calendar year; the credits are divided proportionally into 5 regions within the state (FXW is in Region 1).

Illinois taxpayers who are approved can receive state income tax credits in the amount of 75% of their total qualified contributions made to one or more SGOs during a taxable year. For example, if you made a qualified contribution of $5000 to an approved SGO such as CATC, you will be eligible to claim a $3750 state tax credit.

You must first apply to the Department of Revenue for approval to make qualifying contributions. The application process is through the MyTax Illinois portal at Approval is granted automatically as long as credits are still available. You must include the name of the SGO and the region, and individual donors may direct their contribution to benefit a particular school, such as FXW.

Yes. The application through MyTax Illinois requires that donors “activate” their account before applying for a credit. Most of the activation process is online, but for security purposes the Department of Revenue must mail an ID to finalize the activation, and this can take 7-10 business days. Prospective donors are strongly encouraged to set up and activate a MyTax Illinois account as soon as possible. This flowchart can help you determine if you have an active MyTax Illinois account. If you need to establish or reactive a MyTax Illinois account, the necessary steps are outlined here.

The tax credit application process will be available to registered users through MyTax Illinois on January 2, 2018, at 8 a.m. and tax credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In other states with similar programs, the credits are claimed very quickly, so it will be important for interested donors to act quickly.

Once approved, you will be issued a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC) by the Department of Revenue. Within 60 days, you must provide a copy of the CAC, along with the full contribution, to the SGO. The SGO will issue a Certificate of Receipt within 30 days of receiving the contribution.

Any credit amount that exceeds your tax liability for the year can be carried forward and applied in the subsequent five years. Credits cannot be carried back to a prior tax year.

You cannot take an Illinois tax credit under this Act if you claimed this same contribution as a federal income tax deduction. Also, credits cannot exceed $1 million per taxpayer, per year.

At this point, we believe that the credits will not be available for contributions made in conjunction with an event, such as the Scholarship Dinner. Also, it is likely that the credits will be claimed quickly, so donors who would like to take advantage of this opportunity will probably have to initiate the process in early January.

The Invest in Kids website provides additional information for donors, SGOs, and schools. The Department of Revenue also published an Informational Bulletin that answers many common questions about the program. You are encouraged to set up your MyTax Illinois account now in order to be ready to apply for a tax credit on January 2.
If you have any other questions, please email