Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sagamore Institute?  Sagamore is an Indianapolis-based public policy research organization that promotes education excellence.  Sagamore’s Scholarships for Education Choice program is certified by the State of Indiana as a Scholarship Granting Organization.

Is there a limit to how much I can give and still receive the tax credit?  No, there is no limit on your donations as long as there are state tax credits left.  To check the available credits, click here go the DOR’s website.   The credit is applied to your state tax liability.  It may be carried forward up to nine subsequent years, but may not be carried back or refunded.

Who receives the tax credit scholarships?  Indiana K-12 students who meet the income eligibility guidelines and attend a participating school.

Can I designate a school or student to receive my gift?  Yes, and no.  You may designate one of our participating schools to receive your gift.  However, SGO donations may not designate a particular student; this would be considered a tuition payment and is not eligible for a tax credit.

How do I claim my credit?  The receipt letter you receive from Sagamore Institute will have the amount of the donation and the tax credit certification number.  The tax credit certification numbers are provided by the Indiana Department of Revenue and must be included on your Indiana tax return to receive the state tax credit. Please remember that the amount of the credit is 50% of the contribution amount.  When filing your state return, your credit should be reported on line 7 of Schedule 6, and on Schedule IN-OCC 55629 with the certification number in column C and the code number 849 in column D.

What happens if I forgot to claim my credit? If you forgot to claim your tax credit scholarship credit for the taxable year you can either file an amended state tax return or just include it in your return the following year (the credit carries forward for up to nine years).  Simply complete form IN-OCC 55629 as normal using the tax credit certification from your donor receipt letter.

What happens if the annual tax credit allocation is depleted before the end of June?   The state has set aside a limited amount of money for tax credits each fiscal year ($12.5 million for the year ending 6/30/2018).  If that amount is depleted, tax credits for new donations will not be available until the following July 1st.  If that happens, Scholarships for Education Choice could either return your donation or, if you preferred, process it without the tax credit.  Donations processed without the state tax credit would still be considered charitable contributions for federal tax purposes.  If your donation is returned, it could be resubmitted for a tax credit on July 1.

How do I make sure that my year-end donation counts in the right tax year?  In order to comply with IRS requirements, we need to make sure that your donation occurs in the tax year for which you would like to claim it.   The easiest way to make a last minute donation is to give on-line via your checking account, credit or debit card.  If you mail your donation (either directly to us or to the school), consider taking it to the post office during business hours by the last day of the year.  Caution: if you drop it in a mail collection box on the last day of the year, it may not be processed (postmarked) until the first business day of the following year.  If you are dropping your donation off at a school or at our offices, please do that during business hours when there is a staff person available to accept the donation.

Can I make a recurring donation?  Yes, there are two options.  (1) Use your bank’s automatic bill pay service to set the amount and frequency of your gifts.  Checks should be made payable to Sagamore Institute SGO and you may designate a school in the memo line.  Please complete a donor form to let us know that a recurring gift has been established (future gifts will not need a form).  Your bank will send us a check on the schedule that you determine, and we will issue a receipt letter for each gift.  (2) Set up a recurring donation through our online giving option, using either a credit card, debit card or a transfer from your checking account (echeck).  Again, we will issue a receipt letter for each gift.