Your Tax Dollars, Your Choice
This is your chance to receive a 90% tax credit while supporting St. James School in an easy process.
By redirecting your state tax dollars to St. James School through Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC) and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), individuals and businesses make a tremendous impact in our Allegheny West neighborhood. As a tuition-free school, you provide much needed scholarships so all our students in grades 4-8 receive the excellent, affordable education they deserve.
Participating is simple. Commit to a two-year scholarship gift to St. James, and you receive a state tax credit of 90%.
Recruiting 2022 Participants Now!
Space is limited for the fall – reserve your spot today!
*Sign up by August to guarantee your spot.
Start Here to Confirm your Eligibility
Take a 2-minute quiz to confirm you are eligible.
Ready to Reserve your Spot?
1. Check Your Eligibility
Any tax-paying business doing business in Pennsylvania.
Individuals who pay $3,500 or more in state taxes and are employees, owners, or shareholders of businesses authorized to operate in PA. This includes non-profit employees or retirees.
2. Join a SPE
Join a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) made up of a group of donors interested in diverting their state taxes to scholarships. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork.
3. Write a Check
Make a contribution of at least $3,500 to the SPE and commit to give the same amount the next year. 100% of your redirected state taxes provides scholarships of our students!
Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible to participate?
This program is available to both businesses and individuals alike. If you pay at least $3,500 in Pennsylvania state taxes, you most likely qualify.
For individuals, you must be an employee, owner, or shareholder of a business authorized to do business in Pennsylvania. This includes non-profit employees and retirees as long as you own stock in a business that operates in Pennsylvania.
You must commit to give the same amount for two years.
How do I apply? What is the process?
- Step 1. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to confirm your eligibility.
- Step 2. Determine your Pennsylvania tax liability for two years and the amount you want to redirect your taxes.
- Step 3. Sign our SPE joinder agreement and reserve your spot as soon as possible! It’s first-come, first-served.
- Step 4. Write a check to your SPE. (In your first year, you may be writing a check to a different SPE based on your participation amount and where there is room.)
- Step 5. The SPE passes 100% of your contribution to St. James School, providing scholarships to students in North Philadelphia.
- Step 6. Around February of the following year, you will receive a K-1 Statement for your Pennsylvania taxes that will include your 90% tax credit.
- Step 7. If you are owed a refund due to overpayment, you will receive it the following fall. Please note, this is handled by a different department and refunds have been delayed.
- Step 8. You will be notified to confirm your participation again either in the fall (if you signed up in the spring) or in the summer (if you signed up in the fall).
If I'm eligible, am I guaranteed a tax credit once I apply?
Tax credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a popular program that fills up fast! To make sure you receive a tax credit this year, submit your signed joinder as soon as possible and reserve your spot! Checks are due either in the spring or fall.
We recommend joining in the spring if you know your state tax liability at the beginning of the year and want to avoid paying your quarterly estimated taxes. Also, this is a more guaranteed time. You can also sign up in the fall, if you need a little more time, but know this is the more sought-after deadline. There may be a waiting list due to high demand so get in your joinder early.
Will my entire contribution directly support St. James School?
Yes! All you have to do is indicate on your joinder that you would like your contribution to go to “St. James School – Philadelphia.” (There are several St. James Schools in Pennsylvania.) Your redirected state taxes will be directly applied to student scholarships.
Is the other 10% of my contribution tax deductible?
Yes! If you itemize your deductions at tax time, the other 10% of your contribution qualifies as a federal charitable donation.
What are Special Purpose Entities (SPEs)?
Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) are used in Pennsylvania to aggregate contributions from individuals interested in the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) or Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. Individuals sign joinder agreements to participate in a SPE, and our partner, Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund (CPSF) makes it possible so you can receive the tax credit.
What’s the difference between EITC and OSTC?
You do not have to worry about EITC or OSTC when applying. The tax benefits of both programs are exactly the same, and St. James School students qualify to receive both.
Who is St. James School’s partner? Do they charge anything?
We partner with an organization called Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund (CPSF) who receives the awards from the state, processes the paperwork for us, and passes 100% of the funds to us. They are CPAs who manage the SPEs and provide this service pro-bono. They also work with hundreds of schools across the state, and were vetted by our Finance Committee.
CPSF will send your K-1 Statement in February and will also follow up with you regarding your next year’s participation.
The program is increasingly popular so the sooner you reserve your spot by completing our joinder agreement, the better. They accept sign ups in the spring and fall.
Should I fill out the joinder in full, even if I am uncertain about the amount that I will be paying in PA state taxes?
Yes, by filling out the joinder, you are essentially reserving your tax credit. It is possible to adjust the amount listed on your joinder before you need to write a check. For assistance, contact Martha Heuser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-226-1276 x114.
Can I adjust the amount listed on my joinder once a new calendar year begins?
We hope that individuals will make at least a two-year commitment to support student scholarships at St. James School, but there is no term limit and you can continue for however long you wish to participate. You will be reminded to reapply in the fall (if you signed up in the spring) or in the summer (if you signed up in the fall), at which point you can adjust your contribution amount. Look for paperwork from our partner, CPSF.
Over 130 donors
All 85 students
are eligible to receive scholarships
90% tax credit
= you give a dime, St. James School receives a dollar
< 10 minutes
to complete a joinder application
Helpful Documents and Links
Don’t miss the opportunity to participate with over 100 fellow donors by providing scholarships to every St. James student!
By God’s Grace, we were blessed with the resources to support the St. James School, which holds such a special place in our hearts: the school’s founding principles, their dedication to the entire student’s family, their commitment to the spiritual life of the neighborhood, their interest in students’ lives well after graduation — not to mention the enduring influence of the inimitable Audrey Evans — are each so meaningful to us.
So, giving by way of the tax-credit program was an easy decision for us to have made. After all, who wouldn’t want to direct their tax dollars to students who are eager to learn but lacking the resources to do so?
And the process itself was also so easy. Working with the St. James School’s scholarship partner couldn’t have been simpler, and we were able to also make just a one-year rather than two-year commitment. It’s a time-tested program, we know it works, and we’ve been thrilled with its results.”
Thank you donors!
As of 5/6/21
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