EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENT TAX CREDIT (EITC) PROGRAM
The Wilson Education Foundation (WEF) participates as an Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s EITC program. An EIO is a non-profit organization approved by DCED for participation in the EITC (EITC) program. To become an EIO, the non-profit must demonstrate to the DCED how its programs improve educational opportunities for children.
The EITC program offers substantial tax credits to eligible businesses that make financial contributions to approved organizations. Through EITC contributions, WEF received $40,000 for the 2022/23 school year. With EITC funding, WEF was able to support the Wilson High School I-STEM Academy, a rigorous program for grades 9-12 that focuses on Engineering, Computer Science/Information Technology, Material Science, and Biomedical Science.
STEM Academy Requirements
● Completion of the Capstone course Honors Engineering Design and Development and/or completion of the Honors Technology and Engineering Internship, which include research and design projects. Students work collaboratively within a team to develop a prototype design to an engineering problem. Students partner with local mentors, businesses, and advisors to receive technical support and assistance with their work.
● STEM student showcase is held at the conclusion of each school year and focuses on exhibiting student work. This exhibit is held in May and is a required component of the senior capstone course and the STEM academy. Local STEM Professionals are also involved to provide feedback and expertise to students.
Tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to a Scholarship Organization, an Educational Improvement Organization, and/or a Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization.
The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program authorizes tax credits (not deductions) for businesses that make contributions to Educational Improvement Organizations (EIOs) or scholarship organizations. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The EITC Program enables companies to support nonprofit schools at minimal cost. Instead of sending tax dollars to Harrisburg, companies can re-allocate them to support the Wilson School District via the Wilson Education Foundation (WEF).
The approval process for EITC/OSTC participating businesses is underway with approval letters to be distributed throughout the month of September. Please note the COVID-19 amendments which were put in place last year are no longer active. All participating businesses are now back to having 60 days from the date of their approval letter to make their donation.
Any business unable to receive their EITC or OSTC approval letter due to remote working status can contact their project analyst or the Tax Credit Division inbox to request an electronic copy.
Businesses can significantly reduce their liability for Pennsylvania taxes while they support organizations, like the Wilson Education Foundation, which enhance educational opportunities for children. Additionally, by participating in the EITC program, an organization accrues the public relations benefits that occur whenever a company supports a worthy cause in the area where it does business. By supporting an education organization in which employees have a special interest, an employer can gain the appreciation of the people who make the business work.
BUSINESS APPLICATION GUIDELINE
Timing is critical! The program year runs July 1 – June 30. Please note: Applications that arrive at the DCED prior to July 1st will be disqualified. Applications for tax credits are processed by DCED on a first-come-first-served basis. It is very important that your application be filed on Day 1. Email or Fax are acceptable submission methods.
- May 15 – Business applicants who have fulfilled their 2-year commitment and wish to reapply in FY 23/24 to renew their 2-year commitment.
- May 15 – Businesses who are in the middle of their 2-year commitment.
- July 3 – All other businesses including initial applicants and those applicants wishing to submit an additional application on top of their previously submitted 2-year commitment. Note: this date is typically July 1 but has been adjusted this year until the next business day.
Pass-through entities, such as S-Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, etc., can now apply the same day as C-Corporations. Applications must be submitted electronically using DCED’s Single Application for Assistance. See the business application guide in the box above.
Tax credits may be applied against the tax liability of a business for the tax year in which the contribution was made.
Businesses authorized to do business in Pennsylvania who are subject to one or more of the following taxes:
- Personal Income Tax
- Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax
- Corporate Net Income Tax
- Bank Shares Tax
- Title Insurance & Trust Company Shares Tax
- Insurance Premium Tax (excluding unauthorized, domestic/foreign marine)
- Mutual Thrift Tax
- Malt Beverage Tax
- Surplus Lines Tax
Tax credits equal to 75 percent of its contribution up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year. Can be increased to 90 percent of the contribution, if business agrees to provide same amount for two consecutive tax years. For contributions to Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organizations, a business may receive a tax credit equal to 100 percent of the first $10,000 contributed and up to 90 percent of the remaining amount contributed up to a maximum credit of $200,000 annually.
From the point of view of our Educational Improvement Organization, a contribution of any amount is welcome. A large corporation may be able to contribute an amount that results in the maximum tax credit. A small business may contribute far less but the contribution may be a source of great pride for the business owner and employees. Each gift, no matter the size, helps a student to receive the education he or she needs to reach personal potential and take a fulfilling, rewarding place in society.
An approved company must provide proof to DCED within 90 days of the notification letter that the contribution was made within 60 days of the notification letter. Tax credits not used in the tax year the contribution was made may not be carried forward or carried back and are not refundable or transferable, except for an approved election by a pass-through entity to apply any unused tax credits to the tax liability of the owners in the taxable year immediately following the year in which the contribution is made.
WHEN DID THE EITC PROGRAM BEGIN?
On May 7, 2001, by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, Pennsylvania made history by becoming the first state to pass an education tax credit aimed at businesses and corporations (HB 996). Now, effective retroactively to July 1, 2008, the definition of “business entity” has been expanded to include S Corporations and Partnerships which can receive up to $200,000 in tax credits annually. Most importantly, the EITC provides students and staff with additional opportunities that cannot be provided via the school district budget.
HOW TO APPLY
Pennsylvania businesses can begin applying for EITC credits through DCED’s electronic single application system. DCED will no longer require applicants to mail the signed signature page.
The business application guide explains the process of applying. Tax credit applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis by day submitted. All applications received on a specific day will be processed on a random basis before moving on to the next day’s applications. Applications will be approved until the amount of available tax credits is exhausted.
Applicants interested in applying as an Educational Improvement Organization, Scholarship Organization or Pre-K Organization can apply at DCED Center for Business Financing, Tax Credit Division, 4th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120: 717.787.7120 or RA-EITC@pa.gov. Do not use the Single Application.
Applying is Simple!
- Business completes one-page application and submits it to the PA DCED.
- Business receives a letter of approval from DCED, and then chooses which EIOs to support.
- Business submits monetary contribution within 60 days to Wilson Education Foundation.
- WEF provides business with acknowledgment of contribution.
- Business submits acknowledgment to DCED.
- DCED communicates with PA Dept. of Revenue and applicable tax credit is applied to business tax account.
- Credit is taken as a payment of taxes on businesses’ annual tax return filing.
Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) Frequently Asked Questions
Organizational Guidelines (.PDF)s
Scholarship Organization & Educational Improvement Organization
Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization
If you have any questions about Pennsylvania’s EITC program, please contact: Molly Maack – Wilson Education Foundation (WEF) Executive Director 610-670-0180 x 6918
|2601 Grandview Blvd., West Lawn, PA 19609 | 610.670.0180, ext. 5999|