15-30-3111. (Temporary) Qualified education tax credit for contributions to student scholarship organizations. (1) Subject to subsection (5), a taxpayer or corporation is allowed a credit against the tax imposed by chapter 30 or 31 for donations made to a student scholarship organization. The donor may not direct or designate contributions to a parent, legal guardian, or specific qualified education provider. The amount of the credit allowed is equal to the amount of the donation, not to exceed $150.
(2) (a) If the credit allowed under this section is claimed by a small business corporation, a pass-through entity, or a partnership, the credit must be attributed to shareholders, owners, or partners using the same proportion as used to report the entity's income or loss.
(b) A contribution by an estate or trust qualifies for the credit. Any credit not used by the estate or trust may be attributed to each beneficiary of the estate or trust in the same proportion used to report the beneficiary's income from the estate or trust for Montana income tax purposes.
(3) The credit allowed under this section may not exceed the taxpayer's income tax liability.
(4) There is no carryback or carryforward of the credit permitted under this section, and the credit must be applied in the year the donation is made, as determined by the taxpayer's accounting method.
(5) (a) (i) The aggregate amount of tax credits allowed under this section is $3 million beginning in tax year 2016.
(ii) Beginning in 2017, by August 1 of each year, the department shall determine if $3 million or the aggregate limit provided for in subsection (5)(a)(iii) in tax credits was preapproved by the department. If this condition is satisfied, the aggregate amount of tax credits allowed must be increased by 10% for the succeeding tax years.
(iii) If the aggregate limit is increased in any tax year, the department shall use the new limit as the base aggregate limit for succeeding tax years until a new aggregated limit is established under the provisions of subsection (5)(a)(ii).
(b) The department shall approve the amount of tax credits for taxpayers on a first-come, first-served basis and post a notice on its website advising taxpayers when the aggregate limit is in effect. If a taxpayer makes a donation after total donations claimed exceeds the aggregate limit, the taxpayer's return will be processed without regard to the credit.
(6) A credit is not allowed under this section with respect to any amount deducted by the taxpayer for state tax purposes as a charitable contribution to a charitable organization qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). This section does not prevent a taxpayer from:
(a) claiming a credit under this section instead of a deduction; or
(b) claiming an exclusion, deduction, or credit for a charitable contribution that exceeds the amount for which the credit is allowed under this section.
(7) The department may develop an internet-based registration system that provides donors with the opportunity to obtain preapproval for a tax credit before making a contribution. (Terminates December 31, 2023--sec. 33, Ch. 457, L. 2015.)