Georgia SSO or Georgia Student Scholarship Organization Inc. is a state registered Student Scholarship Organization (SSO) as well as a 501-C-3 non-profit organization whose function is to facilitate the process of distributing tax credits in exchange for donations and to distribute funds for private school tuition scholarships. Georgia SSO partners with over 135+ Georgia private schools and has provided more than $62 million dollars in tuition scholarships supporting preK-12th grade.
Because there are a specified amount of tax credits available each year ($120 million), a taxpayer must be pre-approved by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). This means that the DOR allocates a certain amount of the available tax credits specifically for each taxpayer.
In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Qualified Education Expense (QEE) Tax Credit bill (HB 1133), and Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law. The legislation was further amended in 2011 (HB 325), 2013 (HB 283), 2018 (HB 217) and 2022 (HB 517). The law provides for the creation of student scholarship organizations (SSOs) where Georgia individual and corporate taxpayers can donate in exchange for a state income tax credit.
The tax credit guidelines are listed in the Georgia Code Title 48 Chapter 7-29.16. The details of the qualified Student Scholarship Organization are listed in the Georgia Code Title 20 Chapter 2A. If you have any additional issues or questions, please refer the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
Tax Credit Cap has been increase due to new legislation:
Each year, tax credits are submitted for approval on the first business day of January. When the tax credit cap is reached or exceed, there will be no more pledges accepted throughout the year, limiting your school's ability to increase their scholarship balance.
When pledges are first submitted in January, any tax credit cap overage will result in all pledges being prorated (reduced) down to meet the cap limit. By not pledging the maximum, you risk not be able to contribute the amount you wish to your school. This will result in a reduced scholarship balance for your school. Remember, there is NO OBLIGATION to fund the entire amount. It is very important to always pledge the maximum and pledge early! See the video on the homepage for more information.
New pledge amounts:
This is based on Tax filing status:
A tax credit is better than a deduction. A credit reduces your Georgia taxes dollar-for-dollar while a deduction reduces the taxable income upon which taxes are calculated.
You will pay the same amount regardless whether you participate or not, you are just choosing to redirect a portion of your state tax dollars to the school of your choice.
It’s an easy 2 minute process. Complete the Georgia SSO Tax Credit Form by December 31st and Georgia SSO will submit your information on your behalf. Georgia SSO will receive your approval notice within 30 days. Once your Georgia Department of Revenue approval notice is received, fund your donation to Georgia SSO within 60 days of your approval date of your letter.
To receive a tax credit, you must pledge to donate by December 31st, (BUT DO NOT WAIT AS YOU RISK NOT GETTING PRE-VERIFIED) so that you can be approved by the DOR. You will then receive approval from the Georgia Department of Revenue in January. Once you receive approval, you then have 60 days from the date of your DOR approval letter to fund your donation to Georgia SSO.
Once received, Georgia SSO will verify your information to ensure everything matches up within the DOR requirements. Georgia SSO will submit your application to the DOR on the first business day in January. Within 30 days of submission, you will receive a letter from the DOR indicating your pre-approved tax credit amount. You will have 60 days from the date of your letter to fund your donation to Georgia SSO. Once you fund your donation, Georgia SSO will mail you a tax credit receipt in January of the following year when you begin preparing your tax return. If the GA tax-credit scholarship cap is not met in January, DOR submissions will occur weekly.
Payment needs to be made after you received approval from the Department of Revenue or email from Georgia SSO. Payment must be made within 60 days from the date of your approval letter. (Typically Mid-January – Mid March).
Georgia SSO accepts donations using ACH (preferred), checks, PayPal, PayPal Credit and credit cards.
All Checks MUST be mailed to GaSSO P.O. Box 1752, Cumming, GA 30028
No assumption can be made that a donation will be turned into a scholarship for your child or any specific student! Georgia SSO does not accept donations specifically designated to any recipient. Donors would lose their Georgia tax credit. Georgia SSO is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is bound by the state regulations. As a 501c3, Georgia SSO is not permitted to accept any donations directed to a specific individual. Georgia SSO would be jeopardizing its non-profit status and our SSO status.
Yes. Simply indicate on your Georgia SSO tax credit application how much you would like to go to each school, and Georgia SSO will ensure your donation is allocated accordingly.
Student eligibility requirements:
If never attended public school, Second grade and up must attend a Georgia public school for at least six weeks
The enrollment and six-week public school attendance requirements shall be waived in the case of a student who:
Georgia SSO works closely with our partner schools in awarding scholarships. To apply for a Georgia SSO scholarship click below to complete the scholarship application form. Be sure to check your email to acknowledge your scholarship award.
No. When receiving a Georgia SSO’s tax credit scholarship award, there is no requirement to include the amount as income on the State or Federal return.
Yes, you may only claim your credit if you file your taxes electronically.
If you pay your current year’s Georgia income taxes on a quarterly basis, in four equal installments, due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 (of the following year), you can reduce a portion of each quarterly estimated income tax payment if you contribute to Georgia SSO for a tax credit within the same year.
Georgia income tax liability is 5.75% for 2022 multiplied by your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
No, you do not lose the money. The tax credit is a “non-refundable” credit. That means that you cannot receive a refund for any more than your GA tax liability. Any excess credit beyond your tax liability can be carried forward for up to 5 years for individual, couples filing married joint and married separate.
Yes. You can recoup your donation sooner by adjusting your state withholding amount from each paycheck until you recoup your donation amount. Don’t forget to change it back.
For taxpayers who donate to Georgia SSO as individuals, married filing separate, or married filing jointly, if your Georgia income tax liability is at least as much as your Georgia SSO donation, your refund will increase by the amount of your donation. If on the other hand, your state income tax liability is less than the amount of your donation to Georgia SSO, the amount of the unused credit can be carried forward for up to 5 years.
No. The credit is applied against your Georgia income tax liability, and is pre-approved by the state of Georgia.
Yes. As long as you pay Georgia state income taxes you can contribute to the Georgia SSO program for a tax credit.
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