Illinois Invest in Kids Act

CATC will begin scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 school year pursuant to the Illinois Invest in Kids Act on January 24, 2018, at noon. In order to complete the application, you will need to have a copy of your family’s 2016 or 2017 federal income tax return and proof of Illinois residency. If you do not have the required documentation, please email with your name, contact information, and an explanation of why you do not have the materials.

January 29 Update: Due to the large number of applicants for the CATC Invest In Kids scholarships, we are suspending our application process at this time. All pending applications and supporting documents will be reviewed in the order received. It is unlikely that we will have adequate funding to provide scholarships for all existing applicants. If we receive more donations, we will re-open the scholarship application process for new applicants.

Make a Donation

Are you ready to make your “Invest in Kids” tax credit donation?

  • Have you reserved your tax credit at the MyTax Illinois website?
  • Do you have your Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC) from the Illinois Department of Revenue?
  • Did you select the Children at the Crossroads (CATC) as the Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) on your Contribution Authorization Certificate?

If you answered “Yes” to all of the above, you are ready to make your donation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Public Act 100-0465 created the Invest in Kids Act. This Act allows state income tax credits for individual and corporate taxpayers who make authorized contributions to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible students to attend non-public schools in Illinois.

How does this affect The Frances Xavier Warde School and the Children at the Crossroads Foundation?

The Children at the Crossroads Foundation (CATC) is applying to become an SGO under the Act. If approved, authorized donations to CATC would be eligible for the 75% tax credit and could be directed to FXW. CATC would then use the contributions to fund scholarships for FXW students.

How many credits are available?

The Department can issue up to $75 million in tax credits per calendar year; the credits are divided proportionally into 5 regions within the state (FXW is in Region 1).

What benefits does a taxpayer receive for making a qualified contribution?

Illinois taxpayers who are approved can receive state income tax credits in the amount of 75% of their total qualified contributions made to one or more SGOs during a taxable year. For example, if you made a qualified contribution of $5000 to an approved SGO such as CATC, you will be eligible to claim a $3750 state tax credit.

How does one get approved for the credit?

You must first apply to the Department of Revenue for approval to make qualifying contributions. The application process is through the MyTax Illinois portal at Please Note: After logging into your MyTax Illinois account, you may need to click on your “Individual” account in order to see the option to make an Invest in Kids contribution. Approval is granted automatically as long as credits are still available. You must include the name of the SGO and the region, and individual donors may direct their contribution to benefit a particular school, such as FXW.

Do I need to do anything before applying for the tax credit?

Yes. The application through MyTax Illinois requires that donors “activate” their account before applying for a credit. Most of the activation process is online, but for security purposes the Department of Revenue must mail an ID to finalize the activation, and this can take 7-10 business days. Prospective donors are strongly encouraged to set up and activate a MyTax Illinois account as soon as possible. This flowchart can help you determine if you have an active MyTax Illinois account. If you need to establish or reactive a MyTax Illinois account, the necessary steps are outlined here.

When can I apply to be approved for the tax credit?

The tax credit application process will be available to registered users through MyTax Illinois on January 2, 2018, at 8 a.m. and tax credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In other states with similar programs, the credits are claimed very quickly, so it will be important for interested donors to act quickly.

What do I need in order to claim my credit?Once approved, you will be issued a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC) by the Department of Revenue. Within 60 days, you must provide a copy of the CAC, along with the full contribution, to the SGO. The SGO will issue a Certificate of Receipt within 30 days of receiving the contribution.

What if I don’t need all of my tax credit?

Any credit amount that exceeds your tax liability for the year can be carried forward and applied in the subsequent five years. Credits cannot be carried back to a prior tax year.

Are there any limitations?

You cannot take an Illinois tax credit under this Act if you claimed this same contribution as a federal income tax deduction. Also, credits cannot exceed $1 million per taxpayer, per year.

How might this impact my other CATC contributions?

At this point, we believe that the credits will not be available for contributions made in conjunction with an event, such as the Scholarship Dinner or the CATC Golf Outing. Also, it is likely that the credits will be claimed quickly, so donors who would like to take advantage of this opportunity will probably have to initiate the process in early January.

How should I plan my contributions to CATC to take full advantage of the Invest in Kids tax credits?

Every taxpayer’s situation is slightly different, and we recommend that you discuss with your financial planner how Invest in Kids may impact your timing, strategies, and goals. Because the credits will not be available until the 2018 tax year, the tax benefits of a gift to CATC in 2017 will be the same as in previous years. Moving forward, beginning in 2018, if you wish to take advantage of the tax credit, you will likely want to plan your annual CATC donation for early in the calendar year.

Where can I get additional information?

The Invest in Kids website provides additional information for donors, SGOs, and schools. The Department of Revenue also published an Informational Bulletin that answers many common questions about the program. You are encouraged to set up your MyTax Illinois account now in order to be ready to apply for a tax credit on January 2.

If you have any other questions, please email or contact Sarah Frick (312-268-2567) or Chris Portman (312-268-2524).