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Rankin County Tax Credit


Pre-K is not mandatory in the state of MS, districts are allowed to apply for the Early Learning Collaborative grant money to provide Pre-K for their communities.  Rankin County School District applied for and was approved for this grant in 2021. Because the program is not fully funded, the district is allowed to accept donations to the program, and provide a 1:1 tax credit to the donors. Any donations to the program would be greatly appreciated.

High-Quality Pre-K is Critical 

When children start school without important skills, it becomes harder and harder for them to achieve their potential without considerable intervention. Supporting the Rankin County Early Learning Collaborative is a direct investment in preparing Rankin County’s youngest students! Your donation will fund resources that will significantly impact students' positive attitude toward school and love for learning. 

How can individuals and corporations help?

The Pre-K Tax Credit is unique because any individual or business paying state taxes can qualify if they make a proper donation to an approved collaborative.

Under the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013, the costs for providing Pre-Kindergarten services to four-year-old children amount to $5,000 per child enrolled in full-day programs and $2,500 per child enrolled in half-day programs. The State of Mississippi provides half of these costs ($2,500 per child enrolled in full-day Pre-K and $1,250 per child enrolled in half-day Pre-K). However, the State requires that the other half be provided by local matching funds, which may include local tax dollars, federal dollars (as allowed), parent tuition, philanthropic contributions, or in-kind donations of facilities, equipment, and services required as part of the program, such as food service or health screenings. Individuals or businesses who are interested in donating can help ensure early learning collaboratives can provide high-quality care by donating to their local matching funds.

Donating is Easy! 

  • Submit check payable to: 

Rankin County - Early Learning Collaborative 
ATTN: Wendi Murray 
1220 Apple Park Place
Brandon, MS 39042

Upon receipt of the check, we will respond immediately with an acknowledgment letter. A donation certificate will follow from the Mississippi Department of Education. 

  • When filing taxes, simply submit a copy of the donation certificate with form 80-401.

For more information, email Wendi Murray at or call 601-825-5590. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make a qualifying donation to a Pre-K collaborative?

Contact the Lead Partner for the collaborative to which you wish to donate. You may donate to the collaborative as a whole or to a specific provider within the collaborative. Collaboratives always welcome cash donations. However, you can also donate in-kind resources, such as goods or services. Contact the collaborative first to see if the goods or services will be accepted. Once you have made a donation, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will issue you a donation certificate to allow you to claim the tax credit when you file your taxes.

2. Is there a limit to how much of a tax credit I can claim?

You can donate an unlimited amount to a collaborative or specific provider. However, any individual or organization can only receive a credit of up to $1,000,000.00 in a single year.

3. How do I claim the Pre-K tax credit?

When you file your taxes, you must fill out form 80-401, which can be found on the Department of Revenue’s website each year. The Department of Revenue will verify your eligibility through MDE. Keep your donation certificate as your documentation.

4. When do I need to make my donation in order to claim the tax credit?

Donations must be made during the calendar year for which a tax return is filed. For tax returns filed during next calendar year, the donation must be made this calendar year. The tax credit is first come, first served based on the date of donation.

5. As an individual, if I have too much money withheld from my income and I make a qualifying donation in order to claim the tax credit, how much money will I get in a refund?

A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes that a person owes. The Department of Revenue (DOR) will first calculate the amount of taxes you owe based on your income. This is called your tax liability. DOR will subtract from your tax liability any tax credits you can claim. Then, your withholdings (money that you had withheld for taxes from your paycheck each pay period), if any, will be applied to the amount of remaining tax liability after subtracting your tax credits. If you have had more taxes withheld from your paycheck than your remaining tax liability after subtracting your tax credits, you will qualify for a refund for the amount of withholdings that you overpaid.