Refundable school readiness tax credit supports early childhood education

In January of 2008 Louisiana began a refundable state tax credit designed to support quality early care and education. This credit is part of a package of tax credits known as the School Readiness Tax Credit (SRTC).

It provides businesses with a dollar-for-dollar refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 for donations to child care resource and referral agencies. Northwestern State University Child and Family Network (NSU CFN) is the contracted agency for Northwest Louisiana and has provided this service since 1999.

Why should you participate? Northwest Louisiana will soon have a critical workforce shortage on its hands because in 2017, only 65% of kindergartners in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA were deemed kindergarten ready. In other words, on the first day of kindergarten 65% of the students were already behind. Kindergarten readiness predicts third grade reading scores. Third grade reading predicts high school graduation rates. If we do not address this urgent problem, the kindergartners of today will not be prepared to be the workers and taxpayers of tomorrow.

However, there is one simple and free way to increase the quality of childcare centers. 

Specifically, any for-profit or nonprofit organization can donate up to $5,000 to NSU CFN and get a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Louisiana Income Taxes. If you owe no Louisiana state taxes, you will get a $5,000 refund back come tax time. You read that correctly — your business will get every penny of your donation back. 

For more information please contact John Dean at jwdean@hmvcpa.com

Republished from the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce weekly newsletter

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