Frequently Asked Questions

What is a School Tuition Organization?
A School Tuition Organization (STO) is a charitable organization representing two or more accredited nonpublic schools. The STO receives contributions from Iowa taxpayers and redirects those contributions in the form of tuition grants to eligible students attending schools represented by the organization.

Who may receive tuition grants?
The law restricts tuition grants to students living in households with income that does not exceed four times the federal poverty guideline based on family size. An STO may set additional eligibility requirements.

Is there a limit on how much one person can give, or how much an STO can receive?
There are no limits on individual contributions, however, STOs across Iowa are limited in the total value of gifts they may receive. The Iowa Department of Revenue determines how much each STO is able to accept, based on their number of represented students.

What about a Federal income tax deduction?
Those who itemize on their federal return can deduct the portion of their gift that they did not receive back in the form of an Iowa tax credit. For example, if you give a $1,000 gift, then you will receive a $650 Iowa tax credit.  If you itemize on your federal tax return, then you may deduct the remaining $350 on your Schedule A.

Is there a difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?
A tax deduction simply reduces the total amount of income on which your tax is computed. A tax credit is taken directly off the amount you owe in state taxes, making it MUCH better than a deduction.

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