WHAT IS CEF-SGO?
The Catholic Education Foundation for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (CEF) has been certified by Ohio as a scholarship-granting organization (SGO).
In keeping with the mission of CEF and the regulations of an SGO, CEF-SGO provides financial-need-based scholarships to students in grades K-12 within the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
WHY DONATE TO CEF-SGO?
Supporting students and their formation through Catholic Education, is a great way to share our blessings and faith with younger generations. The CEF-SGO may now allow for Catholic Education supporters to be able to receive a tax credit for their generosity.
Ohio taxpayers who donate to SGOs may be able to claim a dollar-for-dollar, non-refundable tax credit on their state income tax return for up to $750 per donor (up to $1,500 if married and filing jointly). (See section 5747.73 of the Ohio Revised Code.)
Please note: According to a representative from the Ohio Department of Taxation, if you file a married joint return, each taxpayer would need to make their own $750 contribution to claim the maximum of $1,500. Separate acknowledgement letters will be provided for documentation of your gifts.
HOW TO GIVE TO THE SGO
Consult with your tax advisor to determine (1) your eligibility for the tax credit, (2) its value to you, and (3) the details of your gift.
- With either method, you have the option of restricting your gift to a particular school. (Not a particular student or family.) See a list of participating schools. You also have the option of choosing whether or not your name is shared with the school.
- Gifts that are not restricted to a particular school will be available to families with the greatest need across our archdiocese.
Shortly after your gift has been received and processed, CEF-SGO will mail a gift acknowledgement letter to you. This letter can serve as documentation for a non-refundable Ohio income tax credit (up to $750 per donor across all SGO donations for the tax year) when you prepare your Ohio income tax return. A tax professional will be able to advise you on the Ohio tax credit and whether or not your gift is eligible as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return.
TAX CREDIT EXAMPLES
Below you will find examples of certain SGO tax scenarios. Please understand that each individual’s tax situation is different and we strongly encourage you to reach out to a tax advisor for more information on how an SGO credit could affect your tax liability.
- John Smith makes a $750 gift to the Catholic Education Foundation SGO to benefit students at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic School. When John files his Ohio return, the total tax liability is $300. Is John eligible for a $450 state refund?
No– The SGO tax credit is non-refundable. The credit would be applied against the $300 liability, but the remaining $450 is not refundable.
- John Smith had made two prepayments of $100 against his $300 Ohio tax liability, totaling $200. Would his $750 gift to the Catholic Education Foundation SGO, only credit the remaining $100?
No- The SGO donation would be applied to the total Ohio tax liability of $300 and therefore John should be able to have his prepayments refunded. Again, we would encourage John to consult with his tax advisor prior to making the gift.
- The next year, John and his wife Sarah decide to each give a gift to the Catholic Education Foundation SGO. John and Sarah file taxes jointly and wrote a $1,500 check to benefit students at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic School. Can the Smiths claim a $1,500 SGO credit on their Ohio tax return
No– Only $750 can be credited. For the couple to receive a $1,500 SGO tax credit, each spouse would have needed to make a gift of $750 (or more) just in his or her name.
HOW ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED?
Donations given to CEF-SGO will be distributed to the schools on an annual basis. Each school will then make scholarship determinations based on the following requirements and criteria:
- The student is a resident of the state of Ohio.
- The student has been enrolled, is currently enrolled, or has been accepted for enrollment in a participating Catholic school as a full-time (includes half-day for kindergarten students), in-person student.
- The student is enrolled in grades K-12.
- The family of the student demonstrates financial need.
The State of Ohio requires Scholarship Granting Organizations to prioritize low-income families in scholarship awarding. Priority will be given to households at or below 300% of the federal poverty level guidelines. FACTS Grant and Aid Management will be utilized by the school when making awarding determinations.
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