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The Opportunity Maine Tax Credit reimburses student loan payments for college graduates who live and work in Maine.

Graduation YearHow You QualifyWhat You Get
Prior to 2008Does not qualify.n/a
2008 - 2012– Be a Maine resident for the tax year.
– Was a Maine resident while attending college/university.
– Work for an employer located in Maine during the tax year.
– Earned a Bachelors or Associates degree from any accredited school in Maine after 2007.
– All of your graduating credit hours earned after 2007 must be from Maine schools.
The tax credit will offset whatever taxes you owe the State of Maine (non-refundable). If the tax credit is worth more than what you owe the State of Maine in taxes, you may use the balance over the following 10 tax years.
2013 - 2014– Be a Maine resident for the tax year.
– Was a Maine resident while attending college/university.
– Work for an employer located in Maine during the tax year.
– Earned a Bachelors or Associates degree from any accredited school in Maine after 2007.
– Up to 30 credit hours after 2007 may be earned at a school located outside of Maine if you transferred to a Maine school after 2012. (ie, you started somewhere else, then transferred to Maine)
– If you meet the above criteria and are deployed for military service outside of Maine, your student loan payments qualify.
If your degree is considered STEM, then the tax credit is refundable - meaning after being applied to your tax, you'll get a check in the mail from the State of Maine for the remaining credit. If your degree is non-STEM, the tax credit will offset whatever taxes you owe the State of Maine (non-refundable). If the tax credit is worth more than what you owe the State of Maine in taxes, you may use the balance over the following 10 tax years.
2015– Be a Maine resident during the tax year.
– Was a Maine resident while attending college/university.
– Working in Maine during the tax year, regardless of where your employer is located (includes self-employment).
– You may work outside of Maine for up to 3 months of the tax year. ie, temporary transfers, digital nomad excursions, etc.
– Earned a Bachelors or Associates degree from any accredited school in Maine.
– Up to 30 credit hours may be earned at a school located outside of Maine if you transferred to a Maine school after 2012. (ie, you started somewhere else, then transferred to Maine after 2012)
– If you meet the above criteria and are deployed for military service outside of Maine, your student loan payments qualify.
– Your student debt payments qualify even if the debt was consolidated with other education loans.
If your degree is considered STEM, then the tax credit is refundable - meaning after being applied to your tax, you'll get a check in the mail from the State of Maine for the remaining credit. If your degree is non-STEM, the tax credit will offset whatever taxes you owe the State of Maine (non-refundable). If the tax credit is worth more than what you owe the State of Maine in taxes, you may use the balance over the following 10 tax years.
2016– Be a Maine resident during the tax year.
– Working in Maine during the tax year, regardless of where your employer is located (includes self-employment).
– Earned a Bachelors or Associates degree after 2007 and before 2016 from a Maine school, OR
– Earned a Bachelors or Associates degree after 2015 from any accredited school in the United States, OR earned a Graduate Degree from a Maine school after 2015
– You may work outside of Maine for up to 3 months of the tax year. ie, temporary transfers, digital nomad excursions, etc.
– If you are deployed for military service outside of Maine, your student loan payments qualify.
– If you serve on a vessel at sea, but declare your residency to otherwise be in Maine, your student loan payments qualify.
– Your student debt payments qualify even if the debt was consolidated with other, unqualifying education loans.
– Associates degrees are refundable, regardless of declared major.
– Bachelors degrees in STEM fields are refundable, and non-STEM fields are non-refundable.
– Graduate degrees earned at Maine schools are non-refundable.
– Unused nonrefundable credits may be carried forward for up to 10 tax years.

How-To for Individuals:

Participation in the program is simple. All you have to do to take advantage of the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit is to complete and submit the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit Worksheet when you file your Maine income tax return.

2016 Individual Worksheet

Prior Year Worksheets

How-To for Employers:

Employers who pay their employee’s student loans directly to the lender, and their employees meet the criteria above, may file for the credit.

The tax credit is designed to reimburse the minimum required monthly payments an employer makes on their employee's student loan debt. For employees who graduated in 2008-2012, their degrees must be from a Maine school to qualify. For graduation years 2013+, their degree may be from any U.S. school.

If an individual claims it themselves, that value is capped at $377 (as of 2015) per month – but for employees who graduated in 2016+, if the employer claims the credit, there is NO cap on the monthly value. This is a huge advantage in recruiting talented college graduates from out of state.

Not only is the tax credit an incredible recruiting tool – but the employer may deduct the value of the tax credit on their state tax return. It’s a true win-win.

2015 Employer Worksheet

If your question cannot be answered on this page, please contact Maine Revenue Services:

(207)-626-8475
income.tax@maine.gov
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