To provide enhanced security and more convenient contributions, the Hope Scholarship online payment portal was upgraded in Fall 2021. Florida’s car dealerships, county tax collectors and private tag agencies now have more convenient ways to securely remit and track confirmation of deposited contributions digitally. The service is offered through several devices, online, mobile, IVR and digital assistants to provide options to as many users as possible.

The upgraded Hope eBill Payment Portal even includes the option to remit tax election contributions at the last minute and still have payments make it on time to remain compliant with state law!

PLEASE NOTEIf your bank account has a fraud prevention service, please add Company ID F593649371 to your approved list – before making a payment.

How It Works

In the 2017-18 school year, Step Up awarded more than 100,000 scholarships to lower-income students through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Additionally, Step Up helps administers the Gardiner Scholarship Program and provides scholarships to nearly 10,000 students with certain special needs. In 2018, the Florida Legislature created the Hope Scholarship Program. This program was established to provide the parent of a public-school student who was subjected to violence, harassment, and or bullying the opportunity to transfer the student to another public school or request a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school. Beginning on October 1, 2018, the purchaser of a motor vehicle is given a dollar-for-dollar sales tax credit against any tax imposed by the state and collected by a dealer or private tag agent, up to $105, for a contribution to Step Up For Students. The funds invested provide K-12 Hope scholarships for children negatively impacted by bullying, violence and/or harassment.This innovative scholarship opportunity allows students who are systemically bullied to refocus on their education by providing financial assistance to attend a Florida Department of Education-approved private school or for transportation to an out-of-district public school.

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Information For Automobile Dealers

What Is The Hope Scholarship

In March 2018, the Florida Legislature enacted the Hope Scholarship Program to provide the parent of a public school student who was subjected to battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, robbery, sexual offenses, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school the opportunity to transfer that student to another public school or to request a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school. Click here to read the Hope Program Summary

How It Impacts Auto Dealers

The Hope Scholarship is funded by sales tax credits on the purchase of a motor vehicle. Beginning October 1, 2018, the purchaser of a motor vehicle will be given a 100% sales tax credit, up to $105, for a contribution to Step Up For Students to support the Hope Scholarship Program. Dealers provide the purchaser with the Contribution Election Form, collect the contribution, remit the contribution to Step Up and report the contributions to the Florida Department of Revenue. Click here to view the FAQs

Step 1

At the time of purchase, a dealer shall provide the purchaser of the motor vehicle the contribution election form, as provided by the Department of Revenue.

Step 2

The dealer shall collect the eligible contributions.

Step 3

Reports by motor vehicle dealers and private tag agencies are due on the 1st day of the month following the sales and use tax reporting period and are late after the 20th day of the month following each reporting period. If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, the report will be timely if received on the first business day following the 20th.

Reports by county tax collectors are due at the same time sales and use tax reports and payments are due to the Department, as prescribed in Section 219.07, Florida Statutes

The Collection Report is available online here. You may also report by submitting the paper Hope Scholarship Program – Dealer Contribution Collection Report.

Step 4

By the 20th of each month, dealers who receive contributions will remit those contributions to Step Up For Students through the secure online payment portal at www.StepUpForHope.org along with a copy of the Hope Scholarship Program – Dealer Contribution Collection Report. Checks can also be mailed to Step Up For Students, ATTN: Hope Processing,  PO BOX 645707

Cincinnati, Ohio 45264-5707

Step 5

Dealers who receive contributions must separately report them on their sales and use tax returns beginning October 1, 2018. Instructions for the sales tax return can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions For Automobile Dealers

When does the Hope Scholarship go into effect?

Beginning on October 1, 2018, purchasers will be able to make a designation to Step Up For Students to fund scholarships through the Hope Scholarship Program. For more information on the forms to be used and the reporting requirements, please visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s dedicated website for the Hope Scholarship Program at http://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/sfo_hope.aspx

Am I required to give the purchaser the Contribution Election form?

According to the Florida Department of Revenue Rule 12AER18-07 Hope Scholarship Program, section (2)(b), “Beginning October 1, 2018 dealers, designated agents and private tag agents are required to provide a purchaser or registrant with the opportunity to make a contribution and with a copy of Form DR-HS1 at the time of purchase or registration of the motor vehicle.”

What form do I show the car purchaser?

Beginning on October 1, 2018, dealers will provide purchasers with the Hope Scholarship Contribution Form DR-HS1 created by the Florida Department of Revenue.

How much of the sales tax can be redirected?

Purchasers can designate up to $105, not to exceed the total sales tax amount.

How often do I remit payment to Step Up For Students?

Monthly. The law governing the Hope Scholarship program, requires payment to be made to Step Up For Students prior to the 20th of each month for the preceding reporting period.

When is payment due to Step Up For Students?

Payments are due to Step Up For Students by the 20th of the month for contributions made during the previous month.

How do I report to the DOR the amount that I submitted to Step Up?

The fastest and easiest way to complete the Hope Scholarship Program – Dealer Collection report is online at https://taxapps.floridarevenue.com/HopeScholarship. A paper version of the report is also available here

What am I required to report to the DOR?

The Hope Scholarship Dealer Contribution Collection Report (Form DR-HS2) requires the reporting period dates, name and address of the business, the FEIN or Sales Tax Certificate #, the total contribution amount, signature and phone number.

How can Step Up For Students help me market this program and our involvement?

Step Up For Students works with our partner companies in a number of ways to raise awareness about their participation and partnership with Step Up For Students and build community awareness. Please reach out to Bill Ussery at WUssery@stepupforstudents.org to begin exploring opportunities.

Are used and new car purchases available to participate?

Yes, vehicle purchases of both used and new vehicles are eligible to participate. Heavy trucks, truck tractor, trailer or motorcycles are not eligible for participation.

Are leased vehicles eligible for participation?

No, leased vehicles are not eligible for participation.

How do I submit payment to Step Up For Students?

Payments may be made through a secure, electronic portal at www.StepUpForHope.org by clicking “Remit Payment.” Checks can be mailed to: Step Up For Students, ATTN: Hope Processing, PO BOX 645707 Cincinnati, Ohio 45264-5707

Is there a cap on the Hope Scholarship Program, and how will a dealer or tax collector’s office know when the cap is reached?

There is no cap on the Hope Scholarship Program. Dealers and tax collector’s offices will not need to be concerned about over funding the program.

Are sales taxes on auxiliary purchases made at the time of vehicle purchase available to be invested in the Hope Scholarship Program?

Tax credits, up to $105, are only available on the purchase price of the vehicle, not on any auxiliary purchases.

How to Reach Us

For questions regarding payment issues to the Hope Scholarship Program, please call: 904-452-8818.

For questions about the Hope Scholarship Program or cause marketing opportunities, please email the Hope Team: HopePartnership@StepUpForStudents.org

Information For Car Purchasers

Beginning on October 1, 2018, automobile purchasers will be authorized to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $105, on the sales tax imposed by the state as a result of the purchase of a motor vehicle in Florida in return for a designation to the Hope Scholarship Program, administered by Step Up For Students. The amount of the contribution to Step Up For Students will be deducted from the total sales tax liability. The purchasers may not designate a specific student as the beneficiary of the contribution.

How many kids are bullied in Florida?

According to documented incidents in the 2016-17 school year, more than 46,000 students were subjected to bullying, violence or harassment in their district school. There is also additional data to support that the rate is much higher as many incidents go unreported.

How do I help a bullied child?

Beginning October 1, 2018, when you purchase a vehicle, you can choose to help bullied children at no cost to you. If you purchase your vehicle from a dealership, let the dealership know that you would like to support the Hope Scholarship and they’ll take care of the rest. If you purchase outside of a dealership, you can work with the tax collector’s office to support bullied children through the Hope Scholarship. Again, your support is at no cost to you.

How much money of the sales tax can I donate/designate?

You can select to designate up to $105 of the vehicles sales tax to Step Up For Students to support the Hope Scholarship, at no cost to you.

How easy is the process?

It should be very simple. You simply designate Step Up For Students on the Contribution Election Form provided by the dealer and the total amount of your contribution. The dealer will handle remitting your designation directly to Step Up For Students.

If you purchase a vehicle privately, when you register the vehicle, you will be given the same Contribution Election Form. The tax collectors office will remit your designation directly to Step Up.

Will this qualify as a charitable deduction for my personal income taxes?

While Step Up For Students is a 501(c)(3) organization, a contribution made to Step Up that is off-set by a reduction in tax liability does not qualify for consideration as a charitable contribution per the IRS. If you’d like to make an additional donation to Step Up to receive a charitable deduction, please reach out to Karis Turner at KTurner@stepupforstudents.org for more information.

Can I designate to a specific student or school?

No, the laws governing the Hope Scholarship Program do no allow for the designation of a contribution to a specific student or school.

Where can I find out about other scholarships offered by Step Up?

Beyond the Hope Scholarship program, Step Up For Students administers three additional legislatively-authorized scholarship programs: The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, The Gardiner Scholarship Program and Reading Scholarship Accounts. For more information on each of these programs, please visit, www.StepUpForStudents.org.

How does the child qualify? How much is the scholarship? And, how many scholarships are given?

Children qualify for the scholarship by reporting an incident of bullying, harassment or violence within their district school. Upon reporting the incident, the school will begin an investigation. Either at the conclusion of the investigate or 15 days after the reported incident, whichever comes first, a parent can request eligibility from the principal or his/her designee.

The scholarship amount varies by grade level:

$6,519 in grades K-5

$6,815 in grades 6-8

$7,111 in grades 9-12

Step Up For Students anticipates serving about 3,500 students in the 2018-19 school year. The number of scholarships awarded will be contingent upon receiving adequate funding and scholarship demand.

Do I have to decide at the time of purchase?

Yes, you will need to decide at the time of purchase whether you’d like to make the designation to the Hope Scholarship Program at no cost to you.

How to Reach Us

For questions regarding payment issues to the Hope Scholarship Program, please call: 904-452-8818.

For questions about the Hope Scholarship Program or cause marketing opportunities, please email the Hope Team: HopePartnership@StepUpForStudents.org

Information For County Tax Collectors

What Is The Hope Scholarship

In March 2018, the Florida Legislature enacted the Hope Scholarship Program to provide the parent of a public school student who was subjected to battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, robbery, sexual offenses, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school the opportunity to transfer that student to another public school or to request a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school.

How It Impacts Tax Collectors

The Hope Scholarship is funded by sales tax credits on the purchase of a motor vehicle. Beginning on October 1, 2018, the purchaser of a motor vehicle will be given a 100% sales tax credit, up to $105, for a contribution to Step Up For Students to support the Hope Scholarship Program. At the time of registration and collection of sales tax, the tax collector will provide the purchaser with a Contribution Election Form, collect the contribution, remit the contribution to Step Up and report the contributions to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Frequently Asked Questions For County Tax Collectors

When does the Hope Scholarship go into effect?

Beginning on October 1, 2018, purchasers will be able to make a designation to Step Up For Students to fund scholarships through the Hope Scholarship Program. For more information on the forms to be used and the reporting requirements, please visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s dedicated website for the Hope Scholarship Program at http://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/sfo_hope.aspx

Am I required to give the purchaser the Contribution Election Form?

According to the Florida Department of Revenue Rule 12AER18-07 Hope Scholarship Program, section (2)(b), “Beginning October 1, 2018 dealers, designated agents and private tag agents are required to provide a purchaser or registrant with the opportunity to make a contribution and with a copy of Form DR-HS1 at the time of purchase ore registration of the motor vehicle.”

What form do I show the car purchaser?

Beginning on October 1, 2018, tax collectors will provide purchasers with the Hope Scholarship Contribution Form DR-HS1 created by the Florida Department of Revenue.

How much of the sales tax can be redirected?

Purchasers can designate up to $105, not to exceed the total sales tax amount.

How often do I remit payment to Step Up For Students?

Reports by county tax collectors are due at the same time sales and use tax reports and payments are due to the Department, as prescribed in Section 219.07, Florida Statutes.

When is payment due to Step Up For Students?

Payments by county tax collectors are due at the same time sales and use tax reports and payments are due to the Department, as prescribed in Section 219.07, Florida Statutes.

How do I report to the DOR the amount that I submitted to Step Up?

The fastest and easiest way to complete the Hope Scholarship Program – Dealer Collection report is online at https://taxapps.floridarevenue.com/HopeScholarship.  A paper version of the report is also available here.

What am I required to report to the DOR?

The Hope Scholarship Dealer Contribution Collection Report (Form DR-HS2) requires the reporting period dates, name and address of tax collector’s office, the FEIN or Sales Tax Certificate #, the total contribution amount, signature and phone number.

What vehicle transactions are not eligible for participation?

Heavy trucks, truck tractor, trailer or motorcycles are not eligible for participation.

How do I submit payment to Step Up For Students?

Payments may be made through a secure, electronic portal at www.StepUpForHope.org by clicking “Remit Payment.” Checks can be mailed to: Step Up For Students, ATTN: Hope Processing, PO BOX 645707 Cincinnati, Ohio 45264-5707

Is there a cap on the Hope Scholarship Program, and how will a dealer or tax collector’s office know when the cap is reached?

There is no cap on the Hope Scholarship Program. Dealers and tax collector’s offices will not need to be concerned about over funding the program.

Are sales taxes on auxiliary purchases made at the time of vehicle purchase available to be invested in the Hope Scholarship Program?

Tax credits, up to $105, are only available on the purchase price of the vehicle, not on any auxiliary purchases.

How to Reach Us

For questions regarding payment issues to the Hope Scholarship Program, please call: 904-452-8818.

For questions about the Hope Scholarship Program or cause marketing opportunities, please email the Hope Team: HopePartnership@StepUpForStudents.org