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Do You Know Where Your Tax Dollars Are Going?

June 12, 2013 By:
Jessica Endy
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Businesses that participate in the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program not only know where their tax dollars are going, they also decide how they’re being spent — all while supporting the Jewish community.

Here’s how it works:

1) Business concerns that pay taxes in the commonwealth — including C corporations, S corporations, Partnerships, LLCs and businesses where owners elect “pass through options” on their tax returns — complete a simple online registration and then apply to participate in one (or all) of three educational tax credit programs that provide scholarships to children in preschools and grades K-12.

2) Upon approval, the business can receive a credit for up to 90 percent of their state tax liability for up to $1.7 million by making a gift to The Foundation for Jewish Day Schools, which was created by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to provide needs-based school scholarships.

3) The Foundation uses these donations to provide low-to-moderate-income Jewish families with tuition assistance so their children can attend Jewish day schools and preschools. 

4) Participating businesses can also claim their gift as a charitable tax deduction on their Federal tax return.

Mary Relles, treasurer of SofterWare, is one of the program’s most enthusiastic supporters. “When we discovered our company could participate in the program, we jumped at the opportunity,” she said. “We were amazed to learn that we could help Jewish children get a day school education at no cost to our company.

“It is very rewarding to know that our tax dollars are being used to help the future leaders of our community get an education that is grounded in Jewish values.”

Thanks to the EITC program, Federation’s Foundation awarded more than $1 million in needs-based scholarships for the 2012-13 school year, enabling 403 students from low- and moderate-income homes to attend a Jewish day school in the Greater Philadelphia area.

The Foundation also awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to 138 pre-school students from low- and moderate-income households.

“It is extremely gratifying as the parent of day school students to know that my business’ state taxes can be turned into a gift to The Foundation for Jewish Day Schools at little or no cost to our firm,” said Robert Zuritsky, CEO of Parkway Corporation.

“Parkway Corporation has been a participant in the program since its inception in 2001,” continued Zuritsky. “Nothing could be more rewarding than knowing Parkway’s tax dollars are helping a Jewish family in need give their children the same outstanding education I want for my children.”

“The tax credit program is an easy way to support something we really believe in (Jewish education),” said Irv Stein of Keystone Motors. “It costs us no more and we know that our tax money is being put to good use by supporting The Foundation for Jewish Day Schools.”

If you want to get tax credits renewed, applications must be submitted by June 28. New applications should be filed on or as close to July 1 as possible.

The applications are processed and the tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Credits are typically fully depleted within a very short period of time every year. l

For more information, contact Brian Mono at 215-832-0812 or visit: jewishphilly.org/eitc.

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