California Educational Facilities Authority

College Access Tax Credit Overview

Senate Bill 798 ("SB 798"), codified under Revenue and Taxation Code sections 17053.86 and 23686, was signed into law by the Governor on September 16, 2014 and became effective immediately as an urgency statute. Senate Bill 81 ('SB 81' or together with SB 798, the 'bills') was signed into law by the Governor on June 24, 2015, amended Revenue and Taxation Code sections 17053.86 and 23686 and added sections 12207, 17053.87, and 23687. The bills authorize a College Access Tax Credit ("tax credit") for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2018, based on a percentage of the taxpayer's contribution to the College Access Tax Credit Fund (the "Fund"). The California Educational Facilities Authority ('CEFA' or the 'Authority') is required to allocate and certify the tax credit. Assembly Bill 490 (“AB 490”) was signed into law by the Governor on October 6, 2017 which amended sections 12207, 17053.87, and 23687, extending the tax credits to 2022.

The tax credit is based on the following percentages:

  • 60% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer to the Fund for the taxable year 2014 .
  • 55% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer to the Fund for the taxable year 2015.
  • 50% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer to the Fund for the taxable year 2016.
  • 50% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer to the Fund during the taxable year 2017.
  • 50% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer to the Fund for the taxable years 2018-2022.

Maximum aggregate amount of tax credits allowable:

  • For taxable years 2014-2016: $500 million in addition to the amount of any unallocated and uncertified tax credits in the previous tax year.
  • For taxable years 2017-2022: $500 million

Application period for the current taxable year:

  • March 1, 2018 – January 2, 2019, 5 p.m. PST
  • Applications will be processes on a first come, first served basis

CEFA's responsibilities under SB 798:

  • Allocate and certify tax credits to taxpayers for taxable years 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  • Establish a procedure for taxpayers to contribute to the Fund and obtain a certification for the tax credit.
  • Provide to the Franchise Tax Board a copy of the certifications by March 1.
  • Adopt necessary regulations.

CEFA's additional responsibilities under SB 81 and AB 490:

  • Allocate and certify tax credits to taxpayers for taxable years 2017 - 2022.
  • Provide to the Department of Insurance a copy of the certifications by March 1