Apogee Tax Credit Program

Help ABC Montessori

Apogee Tax Credit

Program Overview


The Qualified Education Expense Credit program (a.k.a. Private School Tax Credit / SSO Tax Credit, etc) was passed into law in 2008 through a piece of legislation named HB 1133.  In 2011, an expansion bill called HB 325 was passed into law.  In 2013, a new bill called HB 283, which redefined the tax credit cap and added a $10k max for pass-through taxpayers, was passed.Although several changes are apparent from one bill to the next, the bills as a whole are centered around providing tax credits to GA tax payers who wish to support educational opportunities to families seeking educational alternatives to the free Public School option.

The Georgia Legislature originally set aside approximately $50 million in tax credits annually to provide these options.  Georgia tax payers can make a private donation to a State registered SSO and receive a dollar-for-dollar GA tax credit, as well a Federal charitable contribution deduction.  The law also allows for tax credit donors to express their wish of which school should receive the opportunity to access the tax credit contribution monies for tuition scholarships through their chosen SSO.

These are some of the highlights of the current law:

  • $58,000,000 maximum allocated each year
  • Credits allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Pass through taxpayers can redirect up to $10,000 each
  • Within 60 days of the pre-approval notice from the DOR, donors must make their contributions to an SSO.
  • Donations to an SSO only count in the same calendar year in which the donation was pre-approved and paid.
  • Taxpayers must add back to Georgia taxable income that part of any federal charitable contribution deduction taken on a federal return for which Georgia Qualified Education Expense Credit is allowed.

How do I participate in the program?

It’s easy. All you have to do is either complete our easy paperless process or complete the Apogee Form, and Apogee will submit the paperwork on your behalf. Apogee will receive your approval notice within 30 days. Once the approval notice is received, send your payment by check or pay online within 60 days of your approval date.

Is there a limit to how much I can give each year?

Yes, the amount you can give is limited by your tax filing status:
· Married Filing Jointly: Maximum of $2,500
· Individual Filer: Maximum of $1,000
· Married Filing Separately: Maximum of $1,250
· Individuals who receive pass-through income can contribute up to $10k
· C-Corporation: Up to 75% of GA tax liability

Can I direct my contribution to help a specific student?

Apogee does not accept donations specifically requesting an individual as a recipient. Donors would lose their ability to receive a charitable contribution, as well as the Georgia tax credit. Most importantly, Apogee is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is bound first and foremost by the rules and regulations governing this special status. As a 501c3, Apogee is not permitted to accept any donations directed to a specific individual. By doing so, Apogee would be putting its non-profit status in jeopardy and in turn, its SSO status in jeopardy.

Who or what is Apogee?

Apogee Scholarship Fund is state registered SSO (Student Scholarship Organization) as well as a 501c3 non-profit organization whose primary functions are to facilitate the process of distributing tax credits in exchange for donations and to disburse those funds for private school tuition scholarships. “Apogee” (ap-uh-jee) is defined as the highest point (typically of an arc). To this end, we strive to help children reach their highest educational potential.

How do I know what my GA tax liability is?

Your GA tax liability is typically 6% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). You can also look at Line 18 of your GA tax return (Form 500) to learn your GA tax liability.

Why should I give now?

The State has placed a yearly cap on the amount of credit available at $58 million. That means that every school, tax payer, and corporation in GA is drawing from the same exact pool of credits. Once the funds are used up, you will have to wait until next year to participate in the program. Once funds are deposited, they are immediately available to help families seeking an educational choice for their children.  The yearly cap is being met within the first 10-20 days of January and we expect this trend to continue until the cap is raised beyond the $58 million. 

Can I reduce my quarterly estimated tax payments by the amount I donate?

This a great opportunity to write the check to support education instead of paying that portion of estimated taxes. Ask your accountant to reduce your quarterly estimated tax payYes. Your estimated payments are only an estimate of your total tax liability divided into four payments. This is a great opportunity to write the check to support education instead of paying that portion of estimated taxes. Ask your accountant to reduce your quarterly estimated tax payment by the amount of your contribution. This will reduce each of your quarterly payments by 25% of the amount you intend to contribute.

What happens if my donation exceeds my tax liability?

The tax credit is a “non-refundable” credit. What that means is 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.

What happens when I mail my donation package and check to Apogee?

Once received, Apogee immediately submits your form to the State for approval. We hold your check until confirmation of approval is received. Apogee will receive your approval notice directly  from the State. Apogee will mail you a tax credit receipt to acknowledge your successful participation before year end.

Why should I send form to Apogee instead of directly to the DOR?

You are welcome to send your TP1 form directly to the State; however, Apogee always recommends that you send your form to us for processing. Apogee has developed efficient and effective processes to ensure that the forms are submitted in a timely manner and that the DOR is held accountable for each application that is submitted. With Apogee managing the process, we are able to ensure your paperwork is properly completed and that your paperwork is moving through the process in a timely manner. We have processed thousands of applications with the DOR and have found this to be the very best method of ensuring that applicants get through the approval process.

Do I have to include my check with my donation package when mailing to Apogee?

No.  Apogee cannot accept payments prior to January 1st and since the vast majority of applications we receive are early applications, payment should be made after approval has been secured.  Payment must be made within 60 days of approval. 

If I chose to submit my info directly to the DOR for approval, how do I notify Apogee of my approval and what is my next step?

Mail Apogee a copy of your approved notice, along with your check written out to “Apogee Scholarship Fund”. If you have a certain school you would like to direct your donation to, please write the school(s) in the memo line of your check. Please remember that you have 60 days form the approval date to submit your payment and the approval notice to Apogee.

Can I split my gift between 2 or more schools?

Yes. Please let us know the schools you would like to direct your donation to and the amount each school should receive and we will be more than happy to direct your funds accordingly.

What happens if I give a donation to Apogee but I find out that my school is working with another SSO?

We will be happy to process your donation as any other and will pass the full balance of the funds to the correct SSO

What is Apogee’s Tax ID Number?

FEIN: 26-2693572

Is this donation a charitable deduction on my Federal return in addition to the credit?

Yes. As we are a 501c3, you are eligible to receive a Federal Charitable Deduction for the amount of your contribution. The law does require that you increase your State income by the amount of your Charitable Deduction on your Federal Return (donation amount).

Can Apogee help me understand how this credit will affect my specific tax situation?

Yes. Apogee is well versed in the specifics of how this credit affects most tax scenarios and is happy to offer guidance in how this credit is related to your specific tax situation. Of course, as always, please consult your tax advisor as they will have the best understanding of your specific tax situation.

For More Information, ask a member of our ABC Montessori Staff or https://www.apogee123.org/

School Sponsors