While your Lutheran SGO (Scholarship Granting Organization) donation benefits you from an income tax standpoint, it also creates a lasting benefit for the students who will receive an excellent Christ-centered education at Concordia Lutheran High School. We are grateful for your consideration and support. Click below for the SGO donor form.
Changes in Indiana law represent significant new opportunities not only for Concordia students but also for donors. However, these new laws can raise questions. We hope you find this information helpful as you consider how best to support Concordia.
How has the law changed?
The Indiana legislature first enacted law providing for the formation of Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) in 2009. In 2011 the law was greatly expanded for the purpose of helping low- and middle-income families afford the school of their choice. It was further expanded in 2013. The law features two components for achieving its purpose—vouchers and Scholarship Granting Organizations. Vouchers are funded by the State while SGOs are funded by private donations.
What are the SGO provisions of the law?
Both students and donors benefit from SGOs. The law enables the formation of non-profit, state-certified Scholarship Granting Organizations that use funds donated to them to provide scholarships to low- and middle-income students. One such SGO that was formed in late 2012 is the Lutheran Scholarship Granting Organization of Indiana, which is headquartered in Fort Wayne. In addition, the law provides an Indiana tax credit for those who donate to an SGO.
What is the result of giving to the Lutheran SGO?
Designating a gift to the Lutheran SGO in the name of Concordia Lutheran High School produces two important outcomes. First and foremost, it enables students to obtain scholarships to attend CLHS. In addition, it provides you or your company with significant savings on State of Indiana income taxes.
How does the tax credit work?
The amount of the tax credit you will receive is equal to 50 percent of the amount you contribute to the Lutheran SGO. For example, if you donate $5,000 to the SGO you will be receive a tax credit of $2,500. This tax credit is directly applied to your tax liability. If your tax bill is $3,000, then the bottom line tax you owe will be $500. This is a tax credit, not a deduction.
What is the net effect of an SGO gift?
Your gift to the SGO doubles your giving power to the high school. Using the above example, if you originally intended to give $2,500 to Concordia you can instead give $5,000 at the same net cost to you:
|SGO Gift||$5,000||Original Gift Intention||$2,500|
|Tax Bill||$500||Tax Bill||$3,000|
|Your Cost||$5,500||Your Cost||$5,500|
Instead of giving more to the State, you are giving more to CLHS. In addition to the Indiana income tax credit, your charitable donation to the SGO also qualifies as a deduction on your Federal income taxes, potentially saving you even more.
Who is eligible for the tax credit?
Any entity subject to Indiana’s income tax code is eligible for this tax credit. This includes corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, professional corporations, sole proprietorships, and individual tax payers. Whether you are paying state income taxes as a C-Corp or if the net income from your S-Corp flows through to you personally, you are eligible to receive the tax credit.
What paperwork is required to obtain the tax credit?
When filing your Indiana income tax return, you must complete and include Schedule IN-SSC. This schedule is available at www.in.gov/dor/4657.htm.
Are there restrictions on the amount that can be donated to the SGO?
No, donations of any amount are accepted. But please note, the State of Indiana allows only $9.5 million per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) from all statewide donors in SGO tax credits. Therefore, contributions made later in the State’s fiscal year are more likely to be subject to the cap. To learn how much has been donated statewide so far this fiscal year, you can visit http://www.in.gov/dor/4305.htm.
How do I donate to the SGO?
To contribute to the Lutheran SGO, you must complete a donation form and mail it to the SGO along with your donation. The form is available in PDF form below. Or you can complete the card provided by Concordia. Be sure to designate CLHS as the recipient. Once your donation is received, the Lutheran SGO will send you an acknowledgment letter along with your School State Tax Credit Certificate Number. You will need to include this number on your Schedule IN-SSC.
Does my SGO donation need to be in cash?
No, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Lutheran SGO can accept donations in the following forms:
How can Concordia use the SGO funds?
When you contribute to the Lutheran SGO and designate Concordia as the recipient, the funds are restricted for use by Concordia for qualifying low- and middle-income student scholarships. Donations to the Lutheran SGO do not support high school operations, facility maintenance, capital projects, academic or merit scholarships for higher income students, or endowment.
How can I obtain more information and support?
Please feel free to get in touch with Austin Thoms, Director of Annual Giving, at (260) 483-1102, ext. 217. She can provide you with more information and help you set up your donation. You can also contact the Lutheran Scholarship Granting Organization of Indiana at (260) 203-4509 or visit http://www.lutheransgo.org.