FAQs

FAQs 2016-12-15T11:07:35+00:00
I received an e-mail from GRACE confirming my pre-registration. Does this mean that I have been approved for tax credit by the Department of Revenue? 2015-06-30T09:10:33+00:00

Actually, the confirmation e-mail means that you have provided GRACE with the information and and authorization to apply for your tax credit to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s online portal . GRACE will apply for your tax credit on January 1, 2016. The department has 30 days for the date of the request to notify the donor of approval.

When will donors learn if they have been approved for a tax credit and for how much? 2015-06-30T09:09:25+00:00

The donor will learn in early February of 2016. The donor will receive an approval letter from the Georgia Department of Revenue. The letter will be dated within 30 days of the date that the tax credit application was submitted (i.e., January 1, 2016).

When can donors make their payments? 2015-06-30T09:07:13+00:00

Donors have 60 days from the date of the approval letter to make their payments. The earliest that donors can make payments is on day one of the 60-day period. When the 60-day period expires, there are no extensions, and the tax credit is void.

What tax year is the tax credit for – 2015 or 2016? 2015-06-30T09:05:22+00:00
  1. The Department of Revenue authorized the tax credit for 2016. The contribution is made in 2016. Income tax returns for 2016 are due in 2017.
Is my personal data secure when submitted to GRACE using the online pre-registration form? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

Yes, we take the privacy and security of your personal data very seriously. E-mail addresses will not be sold, rented or leased to 3rd parties. The sensitive data you provided to us is used solely by us. Your information is 1) encrypted in transit from you to us, 2) encrypted at rest while it stays on our server 3) and only decrypted at time of use. Always look for the HTTPS:// or Protecting Lock when accessing our TLS/SSL encrypted forms.

Will a charitable IRA rollover to GRACE qualify for a tax credit? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

No.

First some background: In December 2012, Congress reinstated the charitable IRA rollover retroactive to the beginning of 2012. The rollover excludes distributions (up to $100,000 per year) from a taypayer’s IRA to charities from adjusted gross income and possibly from the minimum required distribution. It is a tax-fee distribution but not a tax-deductible charitable contribution. The availability of the rollover in future years depends on Congressional action to extend the rollover.

The Georgia Department of Revenue has ruled that the rollover is not eligible for the education tax credit.

What is GRACE Scholars? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

GRACE Scholars is a Georgia nonprofit corporation and tax exempt charity. GRACE has met the requirements for designation as a student scholarship organization (SSO) in Georgia. Because GRACE is an SSO, Georgia taxpayers can redirect part of their tax liability to GRACE and qualify for a generous tax benefit created by the Georgia legislature – a 100 percent tax credit. As GRACE is a tax exempt charity (501-c-3 organization), gifts to GRACE may also qualify as charitable contributions under federal law.

GRACE was founded by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta and Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah in 2008 to take advantage of the SSO/tax credit legislation. Since then more than 3,000 taxpayers have redirected part of their Georgia income taxes to GRACE which, in turn, has awarded scholarships to students wishing to attend Georgia Catholic Schools. All students receiving GRACE awards have demonstrated financial need.

What does GRACE do with the donation? 2014-12-22T09:24:25+00:00

GRACE provides tuition assistance to students with demonstrated financial need who wish to attend Georgia Catholic schools that participates in GRACE.

How can I get involved as a contributor? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

The contribution process is described here.

How much can I contribute? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

The answer depends on your Georgia tax filing status:

  • Married filing jointly: Up to the lesser of $2,500 per year or your Georgia income tax liability.
  • Married filing separately: Up to the lesser of $1,250 per year per spouse or your Georgia income tax liability.
  • Single or head of household: Up to the lesser $1,000 per year or or your Georgia income tax liability.
    Individuals owning interests in pass through entities (such as ‘S’ corporations, LLC’s, and partnerships) are eligible for an enhanced tax credit of up to $10,000.
    More information for owners of pass-through entities can be found here.
  • ‘C’ corporation: Up to 75 percent of the estimated Georgia income tax liability.
  • Fiduciaries (estates and taxable trusts): Up to 75 percent of the estimated Georgia income tax liability.

Under certain circumstances, unused credits can be carried forward for up to 5 years. Contact your tax professional for details.

May I contribute an amount less than the maximum limit allowed for my tax filing status? 2016-10-21T10:15:16+00:00

Yes. You may contribute a lesser amount up to the maximum limit (see FAQ – How much can I contribute? ) based on your filing status.

How does a tax credit differ from a deduction? 2014-07-08T15:50:20+00:00

A tax credit is significantly more beneficial than a deduction. A credit reduces your Georgia taxes dollar-for-dollar. A deduction reduces the taxable income to which the applicable tax rate is applied.

For example, suppose a taxpayer redirects  $1,000 to GRACE. A 100 percent tax credit reduces the taxpayer’s Georgia income tax by $1,000. One the other hand, the state income tax rate for most Georgians is 6 percent.  So a $1,000 deduction from income would only generate a $60 reduction in taxes. The difference is 100 cents on the dollar for a credit and 6 cents on the dollar for a deduction.

Why must I get preapproval from the State? 2014-07-08T15:51:29+00:00

Georgia allocates a limited amount tax credits each year to the program. The approval letter indicates that the taxpayer’s redirection of taxes qualifies for a tax credit.

Can I designate my redirection to a specific Catholic school? 2014-10-29T11:45:47+00:00

Yes. You can designate any Catholic school participating  in GRACE.

You can also designate your redirection to the Board Choice (BC) fund or the Economically Disadvantage Family Fund (EDFF), which serves the poorest of GRACE’s families and students. BC and EDFF funds are allocated to schools by the GRACE board of directors.

You may split your contributions among up to three designations.

How do I apply for a GRACE Scholars award? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

You can find the information and forms here.

What is the time period covered by a GRACE Scholars award? 2014-07-08T15:53:29+00:00

When a student is awarded GRACE financial assistance, the award covers the years until the student completes the highest grade at the school. The award is reviewed annually to determine continuing financial need, to assess whether  the student remains in good standing with the school, and to affirm the student is a resident of Georgia.

Is there a maximum that a student can receive? 2016-12-15T10:51:49+00:00

Yes.  The maximum scholarship is the lowest of the following:

  • The student’s calculated financial need (CFN)
  • 80% of the tuition rate applicable to the student
  • An index of per-pupil public school spending in Georgia – the index is established annually by the Georgia Department of Education