Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)

Use Your PA State Taxes to Support Student Scholarships

Students in the classroomYou have a unique opportunity to use your PA state income tax to help make Christ-centered, high quality education at LM accessible for more students through the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program while receiving up to 90% of this amount back as a tax credit.

We could FULLY fund our need-based student aid with YOUR help!

The program provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to an Opportunity Scholarship Organization. Business contributions are then used by Opportunity Scholarship Organizations to provide tuition assistance in the form of scholarships to eligible students residing within the boundaries of a low-achieving school to attend another public school outside of their district or nonpublic school. A low-achieving school is defined as a public elementary or secondary school ranking in the bottom 15 percent of their designation as an elementary or secondary school based upon combined math and reading Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores.

Who Can Participate?

Businesses authorized to do business in Pennsylvania who are subject to one or more of the following taxes:

  • Personal Income Tax
  • Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax
  • Corporate Net Income Tax
  • Bank Shares Tax
  • Title Insurance & Trust Company Shares Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax (excluding unauthorized, domestic/foreign marine)
  • Mutual Thrift Tax
  • Malt Beverage Tax
  • Surplus Tax


  • 2 year commitment
  • Tax credits equal to 75% of its contribution up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year.
  •  Can be increased to 90% of the contribution, if business agrees to provide the same amount
    for two consecutive tax years.
  • Tax credits are worth 90% of the taxpayer’s bill. The remaining 10% may be claimed on the
    federal tax return as a charitable donation.

Tax credits may only be applied against the tax liability of a business for the tax year in which the
contribution was made.

Business Application Timeline

  • May 15, 2023 – Business applicants who have fulfilled their 2-year commitment and wish to reapply in FY 23/24 to renew their 2-year commitment.
  • May 15, 2023 – Businesses who are in the middle of their 2-year commitment.
  • July 3, 2023 – All other businesses including initial applicants and those applicants wishing to submit an additional application on top of their previously submitted 2-year commitment.

Tax credits may be applied against the tax liability of a business for the tax year in which the contribution was made. The tax credits awarded to businesses will be equal to 75 percent of their contribution amount, which can be increased to 90 percent upon the business committing for two years. The total may not exceed $750,000 per taxable year.


Tax credits equal to 75 percent of a business’s contribution (up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year) can be increased to 90 percent of the contribution if a business agrees to provide the same amount for two consecutive tax years. Total program funding for fiscal year 2018-2019 is $50 million.

How to Apply

  1. Determine the amount of your PA tax liability.
  2. Apply through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) electronic application system.
  3. Receive approval letter and complete the Designation Form. Then send back the Form with your check to “Everence Foundation” with a copy of the DCED approval letter (Let LM know too!).
  4. Tax forms will arrive from Fund.

Pennsylvania businesses can begin applying for EITC credits through DCED’s electronic single application system. DCED will no longer require applicants to mail the signed signature page.

The business application guide explains the process of applying. Tax credit applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis by day submitted. All applications received on a specific day will be processed on a random basis before moving on to the next day’s applications. Applications will be approved until the amount of available tax credits is exhausted.

Once you have received your approval letter please complete the Designation Form and mail the form with your check to Everence Foundation. Please be aware you will also need to include a copy of your approval letter from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) with this form.

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity or if you have any questions, please contact Luis Torres, torresld@lancastermennonite.org, 717-740-2426, ext. 1021.

Finding Underperforming Schools

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for maintaining a list of the lowest 15 percent of underperforming schools within the commonwealth. This information can be accessed on the Department of Education website.


An approved company must provide proof to DCED within 90 days of the notification letter that the contribution was made within 60 days of the notification letter. Tax credits not used in the tax year the contribution was made may not be carried forward or carried back and are not refundable or transferable.