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Personal Income Tax Credits More Information

For general questions, call us at (412)466-1919, or email

For more specific questions about our program, or to reserve larger blocks of available credits, please call Cindi McCall, Cornerstone's Executive Director, at (412)466-1919, or email

Catherine Long, the Children's Tuition Fund Specialist is also available to help with your questions at (717)285-3022, or email

For specific financial advice, please refer to your tax or accounting professional.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Legislature approved adding Pass­Through Entities as a way for business people to come together to fund what's important to them.


  • Tax eligibility- Single taxpayers or a married couple who owe at least $1,000 in PA income taxes from all sources, and who are able to make the minimum contribution of $1,000 by the deadline and the same amount next year. (All PA taxable income including pass-through income is eligible). (If there is a problem with the 2nd year contribution speak to Catherine Long from ACSI about that.)
  • Employment requirement: Single persons or a married couple may participate if at least one is employed by a Company: Corporation, S-corp, or LLC (Not a non-profit organization, a government employer, or a sole proprietor).
  • An exception to the employer requirement: Persons who own dividend-paying stock in a Pennsylvania company are considered shareholder-owners in the company and therefore eligible to participate.
  • Questions about anything- ASK us!

This program is for individual taxpayers (or married couples) to participate for a 2-year period using personal income tax credits that allow you to re-direct your state tax liability to scholarships for needy children.

In the past, only corporations could take advantage of this great opportunity. A few years ago, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill that included a new means of participation: Pass-Through Entities. Special Purpose Entities (SPE's) are the means by which individuals can easily become part of a corporate structure and take advantage of the Tax Credits program.

All income generally considered as Pennsylvania taxable income for a single person, or a married couple, including pass through income is included.

HOWEVER- We can help you apply for your C or S-corporation, or LLC. 

Some companies prefer to maximize their tax benefits and charitable giving by participating as both a business and an SPE for personal tax credits.

Purpose of organization:

  • Special Purpose Entities exist only to be scholarship granting organizations.
  • Cornerstone Prep's primary mission is to provide scholarships to income-qualified students enrolled at Cornerstone. Our service area contains thousands of students in the state's lowest 15% schools- below basic proficiency in mathematics and reading/language arts based on standardized test scores. (Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport, Steel Valley, South Allegheny, East Allegheny, Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh City Schools, and Monessen)

How to designate or split designations:

  • When a contributor completes the enrollment agreement (joinder), they designate the school(s) they prefer, indicate % if splitting designations, or check undesignated. (Do not check that box.) Write in Cornerstone Prep and other ACSI schools if you like.  Indicate amount for each school or %.

On the contrary, Pennsylvania's tax credit scholarship programs are a WIN-WIN-WIN: Students win because they receive a scholarship to attend a school of their choice; government schools win because they continue to get public funding without the expense of that student, and the private school wins because they receive funding for scholarships for students in need. With bipartisan support since the program's inception in 2001, tax credits have consistently benefited students with a choice, saved money for all taxpayers and public school districts. School choice has even helped reduce the classroom sizes in public schools. These credits are set aside by the State and do not take money from public school funding.

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There is a high demand for credits and there is a need to reserve them as early in the tax year as possible!

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development notifies the managers of Special Purpose Entities when new credits become available and we can begin enrolling members in the group. These credits are very competitive and only available for brief windows of time. Please call Cindi McCall to discuss at (412) 466-1919.

The DCED authorizes short-term opportunities for enrollment in special purpose entities participating in Pennsylvania's Educational Improvement Tax Credit Scholarship programs for their first year. We are very grateful for every opportunity, and for the supporters and advocates of these school choice initiatives in the PA House, Senate, and the Governor's office since the program's inception in 2001. 

Cornerstone's opportunity and challenge is to support students by enrolling members in our own and other SPE's during the up to 60-day windows of opportunity given by the DCED. That makes a HUGE difference for students in our service area and the schools who enroll them.

ACSI/CTF acts as the administrator of the Cornerstone Prep EITC Scholarship Supporters, LLC and several ACSI SPE's. ACSI works with Cornerstone in the enrollment process for new members. Therefore, CTF staff require a few days to process enrollment applications and payments prior to the DCED deadline. We also work with other organizations to maximize scholarships for our students. Please keep us informed if you are working to make the deadline, so we can help.