State tax payments can be directed to public school system

GFPS District Office
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jan 15, 2024

GREAT FALLS — With tax season's arrival, Montana taxpayer's have the ability to participate in a dollar-for-dollar tax credit program. Implemented by the 2021 Montana State Legislature, enhanced in 2023, $5 million is available for collection to public school districts statewide.

"What you are required to pay to the state… you can give all of that or part of that to the school district," said Brian Patrick, Director of Business Operations for Great Falls Public Schools.

In 2022, a $1 million was available and claimed in six minutes, the following year in 2023, the program bumped to $2 million and was nearly claimed immediately. The allotted funds that is available for collection through a local school district is anticipated to go fast.

"In the law itself, it designates the funding to five areas. It’s advanced opportunities, and transformation learning, special education programs, enhanced technology for students, and then work based learning programs."

Those programs will be directly supplemented through the tax credit program in varying school districts.

An individual or corporations can donate up to $200,000 dollars per year to an innovative education program. On Monday, GFPS had 19 donors for an approximate total of $580,000, just under $4.5 million shy of the available credit limit.

"It can cover up to three years of their tax liability. So, let’s say they gave a check for $10,000, and their tax liability in this next year was $4,000, that $6,000 can carryover for the next two years. It doesn’t have to be any kind of special check, it just has to be a personal check, or a cashier’s check. Then in the memo line we just ask that they put innovative tax credit, so we can track it better in the system on our end." Patrick added.

Great Falls Public Schools asks that you contact your financial adviser before signing up for the program. With further questions regarding the tax credit program in your area, it's best to contact your local school district.

"We really appreciate the community stepping up and wanting to come into the school and direct their tax dollars to the school versus the State of Montana."

The deadline to participate in the program is before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 to participate. For more information, contact the school district in your area or Dona Losett at the Montana Department of Revenue, 406-444-1991 or

If you want to donate to Great Falls Public Schools, contact Brian Patrick, 406-268-6050 or

Whether a Scotty or a Golden Eagle, you have a chance to benefit your public school system this tax season.