The Opportunity Maine Program is a bold, practical, and universal promise to reward hard work and a commitment to Maine with educational and economic opportunity.
The Educational Opportunity Tax Credit reimburses Maine workers for student loan payments for those who earn an associate or bachelor’s degree at a Maine school and continue to live and work here after graduation. Alternatively, businesses that pay employees’ student loans as an employee benefit will be able to claim the tax credit, providing a strong incentive to expand or locate businesses here in Maine.
This will remove a major financial barrier for those who thought going to college was out of their reach, and will be a strong incentive for college graduates to start their career, family or business here in Maine.
After two years of work with many stakeholders, Opportunity Maine got a law passed in 2010 that simplifies and clarifies your ability to take advantage of the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit.
HOW TO CLAIM THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT
All you have to do to take advantage of the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EOTC) is file your tax return. If Maine Revenue Services wants additional documentation, they will contact you, but there is no longer any paperwork to fill out with your college. You can find the tax credit worksheet for the EOTC here.
- If you graduated after December 31, 2009, the tax credit worksheet will provide the “benchmark loan payment,” which determines the maximum tax credit you can claim.
- If you graduated on or before December 31, 2009, and you have not yet filled out and filed an Opportunity Contract, the documentation that was used when the program was launched, you no longer have to. However, the cap (“benchmark loan payment”) on your eligible tax credit is determined by your college, based on a formula, so you should either refer to your Opportunity Contract, if you have one, or contact your college’s financial aid office to find out what they determined the cap to be for your year of graduation.