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Oklahoma Tax Commission proposes tax credit rules for private, homeschool students

House Speaker Charles McCall shakes hands with Gov. Kevin Stitt at the 2023 State of the State address.
Abi Ruth Martin
House Speaker Charles McCall shakes hands with Gov. Kevin Stitt at the 2023 State of the State address.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission proposed its rules for the new Parental Choice Tax Credit program and opened public comment.

After getting passed during the spring’s legislative session, the new private school tax credit program will provide refundable tax credits for students enrolled in private school and homeschool. Depending on income, the state will credit $5,000-7,500 per student at a private school, or $1,000 to homeschooled students.

The OTC’s new guidelines outline how the nuts and bolts would work: families apply for the credits separately from filing income taxes, and they can’t claim the credit on their income tax return. The commission sends a check to the school that is made out to the parent, who must endorse it. The school then deposits the check to cover the student’s tuition. Though, the rule doesn’t say what happens to leftover money if the family owes less than the amount on the check.

The OTC is asking for families earning under $150,000 a year to submit applications between Dec. 8 to Jan. 22, 2024. Next year and in following years, families should submit applications between Dec. 1 to Jan. 15.

Those applications will be prioritized, and after the window closes, the commission will take applications from higher-earning families until a specified cap is met.

In 2024, the cap is $150 million, and it goes up incrementally. In 2025, the cap is set for $200 million, and in 2026, it rises to $250 million.

Public comment submissions can be made by email at parentalchoice@tax.ok.gov. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.

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Beth Wallis is StateImpact Oklahoma's education reporter.
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