Tuition Tax Credits

There is a statewide cap of $2 million on tax credits for tuition, reserved on a first come, first served basis. The $2 million Parental Tax Credit cap has been met for the 2016-2017 school year. 

This program is run by a Proviso that must be approved by the SC Legislature every year. Applications for Exceptional SC grant awards and Parental Tax Credits for the 2017-2018 school year will be posted as information becomes available.

Tax Credits for Tuition

Taxpayers are entitled to a Parental Tax Credit toward their South Carolina income tax bill for the amount of tuition paid for an eligible exceptional needs child, within his custody or care, to attend a school approved for program participation by the Education Oversight Committee. Parental Tax Credits can only be claimed for actual out-of-pocket spending on tuition, up to $11,000. Taxpayers can use this tax credit to reduce their South Carolina income tax liability below zero, allowing them to receive a tax refund.

The Process

    1. Parents or guardians make their payment to an eligible school for an exceptional needs student’s tuition.
    2. Parents complete and submit Form TC-57A to the South Carolina Department of Revenue to request the parental refundable credit. The tax credit application cannot exceed the amount paid out of pocket for the student’s tuition, up to $11,000. Exceptional SC scholarships are not considered an out of pocket payment and cannot be claimed for this credit. Please save documentation for your own records including the exceptional needs child’s proof of eligibility.
    3. The SCDOR confirms the “reservation” of the parental refundable credit, as long as the statewide $2 million cap has not been met.
    4. When the family files South Carolina income taxes, the tentatively approved parental refundable credit amount is used to complete the I-361 form.

Adjustments Based on Exceptional SC Awards

  • The Proviso that runs this program states that the combined dollar amount of a Parental Tax Credit and ECENC grant cannot exceed $11,000 or the cost of tuition, whichever is lower. If your tentatively approved credit needs to be adjusted due to an Exceptional SC award, you will receive an updated approval letter from the SCDOR.
  • This adjustment allows the SCDOR to free up more tax credits for families still waiting for assistance.
  • If you already filed your return and need to amend it, contact the SCDOR tax credit area for assistance at 803-898-5706.
  • If you have not filed your return, claim the approved Parental Tax Credit amount stated on your most recent letter from the SCDOR using the form I-361.

Please contact the SCDOR for questions concerning the Tuition Tax Credit: ExceptionalSC@dor.sc.gov or 803-898-5706.