Calling All Business Owners – Put Your Tax Dollars to Work for a Catholic School of Your Choice

The Keystone state is unique in that it allows small businesses, individuals, and large businesses to contribute to specially approved scholarship organizations and in return receive a “90-percent, dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions.”

“It’s really been a very exciting way to support our schools,” said Amy Impellizzeri, Director of School Development for the Diocese of Allentown and Director of the Scholarship Program at Eastern Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation (EPSF). To benefit from the state’s tax credit program, the Diocese created the EPSF charitable trust 20 years ago.

“EPSF administers over 6 million dollars funded by tax credit money to diocesan schools. This financial support is funded by taxpayers who are basically redirecting their Pennsylvania tax dollars to our schools rather than Harrisburg, and they get a 90% tax credit for that participation,” said Impellizzeri.

Since its inception, the program has grown exponentially from a few hundred dollars to nearly $7 million this year.

“It’s really become lifesaving for people who want to send their kids to Catholic school, but wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so,” said Impellizzeri.

All 34 schools in the Diocese receive some tax credit money from the EPSF trust.

“We have a really strong presence of the program in a lot of our inner-city schools and our schools in need,” explained Impellizzeri. “Pennsylvania has designated even more dollars in areas where the public schools are facing challenges.

“In the city of Allentown and the city of Reading, we’re able to redirect that money to families who would have to send their kids to public schools.”

If you’ve considered the tax credit in the past, but were dissuaded by the paperwork, Impellizzeri offers some motivating words to encourage participation.

“The state has made it easier for people to participate in recent years. We do all of the paperwork on our end. Our accountants do all of the tax paperwork that you need to attach to your return.

“So even if you were intimidated by the program in the past, this summer is a great time to get involved!”

And with the deadline quickly approaching, Impellizzeri invites people who are interested in the program to reach out to her at [email protected].

You’ll be asked to look at your Pennsylvania income tax liability. Then you’ll make a pledge for two years. Finally, you’ll designate your school (or schools) of your choice.

“Almost all of our funding is donor designated. We have a small pot of money where the donors say, ‘give it to the schools most in need.’ That money is divided equally amongst schools that need it the most.”

Contributions must be made by Aug. 31 to qualify for the tax credit. Donors will receive paperwork to claim the tax credit on their 2024 tax return.