Opportunity Scholarship Act
The Opportunity Scholarship Act (Act) establishes a program to provide scholarships for eligible students to attend qualified privately operated elementary and secondary schools in Nebraska. The scholarships are funded by cash contributions made to scholarship-granting organizations, which may qualify the donor for a nonrefundable tax credit for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2024. The program tax credit limitation is $25 million for calendar years 2024, 2025, and 2026. For calendar years 2027 and after, the annual limit will be calculated based on the requirements in LB 753. The organization will issue a receipt for the contribution made by the taxpayer to take the nonrefundable tax credit.
Under the Act, the contributions are made to a certified scholarship-granting organization (organization) which awards the scholarships to eligible students. An organization wishing to become certified must submit the Application to Become A Certified Nebraska Scholarship-Granting Organization, Form NSGO to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Certification must be obtained prior to providing any education scholarships to eligible students under the Act. The organization applying to be certified as a scholarship-granting organization must be a charitable organization in Nebraska that is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The nonrefundable tax credit issued to an individual, corporate taxpayer, estates, trusts, or to any partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or subchapter S corporation that is carrying on rental activity or carrying on any trade or business for which deductions would be allowed under IRS § 162; equals the lesser of:
(a) The total amount of the contributions made to the scholarship-granting organizations during the tax year;
(b) 50% of the income tax liability of the taxpayer for such year; or
(c) $100,000, or $1 million for estates and trusts.
Any unused credit may be carried forward for the next five years after the credit was first granted. A taxpayer may only claim a credit on the portion of the contribution that was not claimed as a charitable contribution on their federal return.
Legislative Bill – LB 753 (2023)
Revenue Tax Specialist, Policy Section
Nebraska Department of Revenue
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94818
Lincoln, NE 68509-4818