What is Exceptional SC?
The Exceptional SC scholarship fund (a 501(c)(3)), also known as the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children or ECENC, was created by the South Carolina Legislature. The fund is made up of tax-deductible donations that serve as scholarships for tuition for exceptional needs students in South Carolina to attend an approved independent school that best serves their needs.
eligibility information are available at
ExceptionalSC.org. The Exceptional SC board reviews applications and awards scholarships based on a number of criteria. Students who are awarded the scholarship must
attend a school that the Education Oversight Committee has approved for program participation.
The information below is for the 2019-2020 school year.
Parental Refundable Tax Credits for Tuition Payments:
The SCDOR will begin accepting parental tax credit applications this fall for 2019 tuition payments made to qualifying schools for the 2019-2020 school year. More information will be provided this summer.
Parents or guardians of exceptional needs students can pay the student’s tuition at an
eligible school, then apply for a tax credit toward their South Carolina income tax bill as outlined below:
- Parents or guardians make their payment to an eligible school for their qualifying student's tuition.
- Parents complete and submit Form TC-57A to request the parental refundable credit. The tax credit application cannot exceed the amount paid out of pocket for the student's tuition. The maximum amount of refundable credit that may be requested for each qualifying student is $11,000 or the cost of tuition, whichever is less, minus the amount of scholarship the qualifying student receives from Exceptional SC. Exceptional SC scholarships are not considered an out of pocket payment and cannot be claimed for this credit. Please save documentation and credit approval letter from the SCDOR with your tax records, including the exceptional needs child's proof of eligibility.
- The SCDOR will confirm the "reservation" of the parental refundable credit, as long as the $2 million refundable credit cap has not been met.
- When you file your South Carolina income taxes, the tentatively approved parental refundable credit is claimed by completing the I-361 form.
§12-6-3790 provides that South Carolina parental refundable tax credits may not exceed $2 million for 2019.
Nonrefundable Tax Credits for Exceptional SC Donations:
Exceptional SC began accepting tax year 2019 donations on March 1, 2019. For donation information, please contact
Anyone can donate to the Exceptional SC 501(c)(3) scholarship fund, which provides scholarships to exceptional needs students. Individuals and corporations who pay South Carolina taxes can make a donation to Exceptional SC and claim a dollar for dollar tax credit against their overall South Carolina income tax liability (personal corporate income tax). Donors can deduct contributions made to Exceptional SC on their federal income taxes under IRC Section 170.
A taxpayer may not claim more than sixty percent of his total South Carolina tax liability for the year the contribution was made. If a taxpayer deducts the amount of the contribution on his federal return and claims the nonrefundable credit, then he must add back the amount of the deduction for South Carolina income tax purposes.
- Eligible to claim a dollar for dollar credit on state income tax liability;
- Not allowed to designate a specific student or school as beneficiary;
- Limited by a first come, first served annual statewide cap of $12 million.
ExceptionalSC.org/donate for more information and to make a donation. §12-6-3790 provides that South Carolina tax credits for donations to Exceptional SC may not exceed $12 million for 2019.
For more information:
The SCDOR is committed to providing outstanding service and ensuring continued opportunities for exceptional needs children.
2016-2017 School Year Recap:
- The $10 million cap for nonrefundable tax credits for donations to Exceptional SC in Fiscal Year 2017, provided in
Proviso 109.15, was met in April 2017.
The $2 million cap for parental refundable tax credits in Fiscal Year 2017, provided in
Proviso 109.15, was met in September 2016.
2017-2018 School Year Recap:
- The $11 million cap for nonrefundable tax credits for donations to Exceptional SC in Fiscal Year 2018, provided in Proviso 109.11, was met on December 29, 2017.
The $2 million cap for parental refundable tax credits in Fiscal Year 2018, provided in Proviso 109.11, was met on July 5, 2017.
2018-2019 School Year Recap:
- The $12 million cap for nonrefundable tax credits for donations to Exceptional SC in Fiscal Year 2019, provided in §12-6-3790, was met on July 6, 2018.
- The $2 million cap for parental refundable tax credits in Fiscal Year 2019, provided in §12-6-3790, was met on October 1, 2018.