Giving Back

Make a difference through corporate, budget-favorable tax credit and rebate giving programs.

Georgia

Under the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship Program, any company or individual that pays Georgia income tax is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for approved donations to Arete Scholars. A C-corporation may redirect up to 75% of its entire Georgia income tax liability. Individual owners of S-corporations, LLCs, and partnerships may redirect up to $10,000 annually in exchange for a 100% tax credit.

Is this for real? A company can redirect 75% of its total state tax liability to Arete to support low-income student scholarships?

That is correct. The Georgia Private School Tax Credit law (O.C.G.A. § 20-2A-1 thru § 20-2A-7) allows individuals and corporations to receive tax credits for donations to Arete Scholars, a state-approved nonprofit that, in turn, provides scholarships to enable low-income students to attend private schools.

Why would the state do this?

For several reasons. First, low-income students who begin attending private schools perform better academically, and graduate from high school at much higher rates than if they had stayed in their current schools. Second, the program results in significant savings to the taxpayer. For example, the cost-per-pupil in Atlanta Public Schools is $13,150. By contrast, using tax credit donations, Arete pays a max- imum of only $5,000 per scholarship for students to attend a private school that better meets their needs. Everybody wins when you can obtain better academic results at a significantly lower cost.

Given private school tuition rates, is a $5,000 scholarship enough for low-income families?

The average tuition for a private school in Georgia is currently $6,600 per year. Most of these schools are deeply committed to both character development and academic achievement. Arete currently partners with a diverse range of over 150 excellent schools. A com- bination of parental contribution and school financial aid makes up the difference.

Who are your corporate partners?

Our generous partners include companies of all sizes. Some of our larger supporters include Walgreens, Wells Fargo, Dollar General, Equifax, and Waste Management.

Who is eligible to donate to Arete?

Any company or individual that pays Georgia income tax is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to Arete. A C-corporation may contribute up to 75% of its Georgia state tax liability. Individual owners of S-corporations, LLCs, and partnerships may contribute up to $10,000 annually.

What is the process for making a donation and receiving a credit?

Simply complete and submit the two-page tax credit pre-approval form required by the Georgia Department of Revenue. The Depart- ment of Revenue will provide notice of approval, usually within 15 days.

Does the tuition donation rebate program take money from public schools?

No. The program does not touch the education budget. Addi- tionally, tuition donation rebate scholarships guarantee savings to taxpayers by awarding amounts that are substantially less than the per student expense in public schools. These savings can remain invested in public schools.

Are there any downsides for me or my company getting involved?

It is hard to see any. It is a budget-neutral transaction that can radi- cally alter the lives of disadvantaged children. Through this relatively simple step, corporations make a lasting, tangible difference in the lives of low-income families, help break generational cycles of pover- ty, and give thousands of children a brighter future.

Sample Timeline

JANUARY 15

Acme Company estimates it has a $300K Georgia income tax liability; signs a donation request of $225k (75% of liability) from the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR).

JANUARY 30

Within 15 days the DOR grants approval. A DOR approval does not obligate a company to remit funds, but simply ensures that the annual program cap of $58 million is not exceeded.

MARCH 30

Acme has 60 days to remit $225K payment to Arete. Arete will provide Acme with an acknowledgment that must be submitted with Acme’s state tax return.

MAY 1

Arete awards scholarships to enable low-income students to attend the school of their parents’ choice that fall.

END OF TAX YEAR

Acme files Georgia return and includes Arete donation form, result- ing in a $225K credit against Acme’s state income tax.

Arete Scholars helps give disadvantaged children
a chance by giving their parents a choice.