In 2011, the Oklahoma Legislature passed the Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act that allows for Oklahoma Income Tax Credits for donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations whose purpose is to grant need-based scholarships to students to attend accredited private elementary and secondary schools in the state. Supported by Oklahoma School Choice advocates, the law was meant to allow students who couldn’t normally afford to attend private schools the opportunity to seek and receive scholarships to attend these schools.
The law is written so that individual taxpayers can contribute up to $2000 individually or $4000 for a married couple filing jointly and receive a 50% tax credit on the donation. For example, the average taxpayer filing jointly could donate $4000 and receive a $2000 tax credit at the same time they take a tax deduction on the donation. People in the 25% federal tax bracket and 5% Oklahoma tax bracket would end up receiving another $1200 in lower taxes for the $4000 donation. Combining the tax credit and the deduction, the taxpayer would receive $3200 back on their original $4000 donation. It is a strong motivation for individuals to make a donation to a scholarship granting organization.
The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has established the Catholic Schools Opportunity Scholarship Fund to be a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) under the law and need-based scholarships from this Fund to Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese. Your donation in 2016 will allow scholarships to be awarded for the 2017-2018 school year. The Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma administers the Fund for the Archdiocese and underwrites the cost of administration so that 100% of your donation goes towards scholarships.
This wonderful law will hopefully inspire donations for need-based scholarships to Catholic schools for families who could not otherwise afford the cost of Catholic School Tuition. Please consider sharing your faith by making a donation and qualify for an Oklahoma Tax Credit in addition to your normal income tax deductions for making a charitable donation.
NEW FOR 2016: For donors who make a 2 year pledge, you will receive a 75% income tax credit for both years of your pledge (years 2016 and 2017). You must declare your pledge when you make your 2016 gift to qualify, otherwise your gift will only be eligible for the 50% tax credit.