Private School Tax Season: South Carolina


South Carolina offers a unique tax option: a refundable tax credit available to parents/guardians of students with special needs. South Carolina matches the federal definition of special needs as a “child with a disability”; more can be found at 34 CFR 300.8. The parents/guardians must also believe that the public school district that the student would be attending, if not enrolled in a private school, would not meet the student’s needs.

Private School Tax Season South Carolina p

Alongside children “with a disability”, students with the following diagnosis may also be eligible:

  • Students having a neurodevelopmental disorder as diagnosed within the last three years by a licensed speech-language pathologist, psychiatrist or medical, mental health, psycho-educational, or other comparable licensed healthcare providers
  • Students with a substantial sensory or physical impairment (such as deaf, blind, or orthopedic disability)
  • Students with a disability or acute or chronic condition that significantly impedes the student’s ability to learn and succeed in school without specialized instructional and associated supports and services tailored to the child’s unique needs

South Carolina does not currently have any tax benefits for families with students who do not fit the above criteria.

Several states have K–12 private school education tax benefits, deductions, or refund programs. Please keep the following in mind:

  1. Enlightium Academy is legally a private school, not a homeschool.
  2. Enlightium Academy is accredited, an important distinction for several states in filing for tax benefits. Enlightium Academy is accredited by AdvancEd and the Association of Christian Schools International. More information can be found here.
  3. This article is intended to act as the first steps in preparing for filing; speak with a tax professional and/or conduct further research before filing.
  4. Laws are subject to change. Please note this article’s publication date.


  • Parents receive a tax credit worth $11,000 per student or their child’s actual cost of attending school, whichever is less
    • If receiving an Education Credit for Exceptional Needs Children Fund scholarship, the credit may be less
  • If the state taxes owed are less than the credit available, parents may receive a refund equal to the balance of the unused credit
  • There is no income limit for parents


  • The student must meet the federal definition of a “child with a disability” (34 CFR 300.8)
  • The student must attend an eligible school. Factoring in Enlightium Academy’s dual accreditation and 15+ year history, Enlightium Academy would most likely qualify as an eligible school
  • The program caps at $2 million

Private School Tax Season South Carolina iParent Steps

  1. Provide certification that the student has exceptional needs, likely from a specialist.
  2. Request a Verification of Enrollment from Enlightium Academy.
    1. Counselor approval is required based on attendance compliance.
  3. Collect documentation of the cost of attendance at Enlightium Academy; if needed, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For any other questions about South Carolina private school laws (or online school education in general), please call (866) 488-4818, or visit Enlightium Academy is an accredited alternative education option for educating your child from home. Our program offers the comfort of a homeschool education environment and the quality of a private school education curriculum. Enlightium Academy is a private Christian school that offers a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher supported, and affordable education. Enlightium Academy meets all accreditation and state education requirements for the State of South Carolina, while neither using the state curriculum or Common Core.


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