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GOAL Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program?
    In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 1133 and Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law. The new law provides for the creation of student scholarship organizations (“SSOs”) that use Georgia income tax credit-eligible contributions to provide financial assistance to students wishing to enroll into a private school. Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc. is one of the SSOs created to implement the new law.
  2. How does our school benefit from the GOAL Scholarship?
    GOAL frees up our schools financial aid dollars to support those students who do not qualify for assistance through GOAL’s criteria. Most “older” schools are able to fund their financial aid through the school’s endowment funds. Currently HSP does not have an established endowment fund and therefore self-funds its financial aid. As an independent school we also do not get financial aid support from the Archdioceses. This is why the GOAL program is so important to HSP. GOAL offers a financial buffer between financial aid and tuition.
  3. Does GOAL take money away from the public school system?
    The $50 million allocation of tax credits is statutory, not budgetary. Thus, it is not coming out of an allocation of any budgeted funds. Rather, it is set aside by the legislature to use for this purpose each year.
  4. Why school choice?
    The Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit Program in Georgia is not about taking money away from public institutions; rather it is about providing options for parents related to the education of their children. As America faces the challenge of educating children for success in the 21st century, it is important to keep in mind two facts: (1) parents are the primary educators of their children; and (2) when it comes to educating children, one size does not fit all.
  5. How does the tax credit work?
    A taxpayer re-directing all or a portion of his or her Georgia income tax payments to GOAL receives an income tax CREDIT against their Georgia income taxes for the amount of their contribution. Thus, if a married couple filing a joint return owes $6,000 of Georgia income taxes and makes the maximum contribution to GOAL of $2,500, they will only have to pay $3,500 of income taxes to the state Georgia.
  6. What is the maximum contribution amount allowed?
    A married couple filing a joint return can re-direct up to $2,500 of their income tax payments to GOAL. An individual filer can redirect up to $1,000. S Corps, LLC's & Partnerships can contribute a maximum of $10,000 or 6% of their Georgia income tax liability. A C- Corporation can contribute up to 75% of their Georgia income tax laibility.
  7. What students are eligible for GOAL assistance?
    In order for a student to be eligible to receive GOAL tuition assistance:
    1. The student must be entering into grades K – 2 or entering from a public school.
    2. The family’s financial status must be within the GOAL guidelines. You may view these specifics by clicking here.
  8. How many students does HSP currently have on the GOAL Scholarship?
    Currently HSP has 48 students on the GOAL Scholarship.
  9. How much financial assistance does GOAL provide?
    GOAL provides a maximum amount of $9000 per student. The balance of tuition is paid by the student. Each student must reapply every year and be approved based on their financial status.
  10. Can corporations contribute to the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program?
    Yes, C- corporations can receive a tax credit for amounts contributed to the GOAL Scholarship Program, up to 75 percent of their Georgia income tax liability.
  11. What is the process for making a contribution?
    1. Complete application. First you must complete the application stating the amount you would like approved and your designated school.
    2. Receive approval notification. You will then receive an approval letter from the Georgia Dept. of Revenue. This letter confirms that the state funds are still available and you may make your contribution.
    3. Make payment. You must remit your payment within 60 days of your approval letter.
    4. File tax return. Attach your receipt of payment to your tax return and deduct the payment amount from your state taxes owed. You may also deduct your contribution on your federal return as a donation.
  12. Will our school modify the school’s admission criteria to accommodate students who would qualify for Georgia GOAL?
    No. All applicants will be required to have completed our regular application for admission. Acceptance for admission will be based on the current standards and criteria for admission to our school. Exceptions will not be made for applicants who are eligible for a GOAL scholarship. The program simply allows for families with qualified students who had not previously been able to attend our school to do so. Admission standards will not be relaxed.
  13. How do I find more information about Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program?
    If you have questions about the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, please review the GOAL Website or contact Liz Winkler or MaryLynn Llop at (404) 843-4440 ext.267
  14. How do owners of S Corps, LLCs & Partnerships contribute?
    • The paperwork must be submitted to the DOR in the name of the individual owner, rather than in the name of the business (pass through entity).
    • An individual taxpayer may only receive a maximum tax credit of $10,000, regardless of ownership in multiple pass through entities;
    • If the taxpayer’s spouse is also owner in a pass through entity (or entities), the couple may be allowed a tax credit of $10,000 each, for a total of $20,000;
    • If a taxpayer has already contributed as an individual in 2013, the amount of the credit being requested as the owner of the pass through must be reduced by that amount (e.g., if a married couple has already contributed $2,500, the taxpayer may only request an additional $7,500);
    • Applicants must provide the amount that represents 6% of their estimated Georgia income from the pass through entity (or entities). All Georgia income, loss and expense from the taxpayer selected pass through entities will be combined to determine Georgia income for purposes of the QEE credit. Such combined income shall be multiplied by 6% to determine the tax that was actually paid. There is additional detail - and a helpful Example - regarding the contribution limits for owners of pass through entities on page 4 of the attachment.
    • Please note: 6% of the Georgia income from pass through entity (or entities) is the maximum amount that may be claimed as a tax credit, and any excess amounts may not be claimed in the current year and may not be carried forward. To make this somewhat simpler, the taxpayer’s Georgia income from pass through entities must be at least $166,667 to take advantage of the full $10,000 tax credit ($166,667 * 6% = $10,000).