Tuition Tax Credits

What is the ECENC?

South Carolina’s ECENC helps students with special needs attend credentialed private schools. Parents can chose either tuition tax credits or scholarships funded by Exceptional SC.

What is a refundable individual income tax credit?

This is a credit, or “payment,” toward an individual’s or family’s South Carolina income tax bill. It can reduce the taxpayer’s liability below zero allowing them to receive a tax refund. If the amount of the credit -up to $11,000 for tuition paid- is larger than the taxes owed, they will receive a refund for the difference.

Who is eligible for the tuition tax credits?

Parents or guardians of exceptional needs students, attending eligible schools, can apply for the dollar-for-dollar credits. They can only claim a credit for their actual out of pocket spending on tuition, and there is a $11,000 per student limit. There is also a statewide cap of $2 million in credits, reserved on a first come, first served basis.

How does the process work?

First, parents make their payment to an eligible school for an exceptional needs student’s tuition. Then, parents complete and submit a form TC-57A to the South Carolina Department of Revenue. They must save documentation of their child’s eligibility for their own records. Next, DOR confirms the “reservation” of the family’s credit, so long as the statewide $2 million cap hasn’t been met. Finally, when the family completes its state income tax filing the value of the refundable credit is applied.

What about transportation expenses?

Yes, the ECENC tuition tax credits can cover transportation expenses. If the eligible school charges transportation to and from school with the tuition, then it can be included in the parental credit claimed.