As January comes to a close, many of us start turning our thoughts to filing our 2009 taxes and the (hopefully) nice return we will get back from Uncle Sam. What many of us don’t know is that there’s a very simple way to give to worthy causes with your tax return. It’s called Checkoff Colorado.
Checkoff Colorado is a groundbreaking, collaborative, statewide public awareness campaign designed to raise awareness about check-off giving. That’s the program that allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to their favorite charitable organizations when they file their state income tax return.
Based on the notion that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” the goals of Checkoff Colorado are simple – to get more taxpayers to contribute and to increase the total number of donations each year. In 2003 the charitable organizations eligible for voluntary donations in Colorado decided to take the bold step of banding together because their voices would be louder if spoken in unison. Now, California and other states see Checkoff Colorado as a model.
Thirty years ago, Colorado became the first state in the country to allow a taxpayer to “check-off” a voluntary contribution to a state program. In 1977, the Colorado Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund became the first state income tax check-off fund in the United States. Today there are hundreds of check-off programs in nearly every state in the country.
Every year, U.S. taxpayers contribute tens of millions of dollars to a diverse range of programs. Check-off contributions are typically voluntary donations from a taxpayer’s refund, but they can also come from an additional amount voluntarily added to a taxpayer’s liability. Nationwide, the most common funds support wildlife preservation, political campaigns, child abuse and neglect prevention, and U.S. Olympic committees.
$30 for 30 Years
If every taxpayer in Colorado donated $30 – that’s $1 for each year the program has existed — it could make a profound difference for Alzheimer’s patients, pet overpopulation, family assistance programs, watershed protection, homeless prevention programs and military families, to name a few.
A Simple Way to Give
Funds can be directed to any or all of the organizations. Most people donate to several funds and the average donation is about $10. It’s simple. See Checkoff Colorado for participating organizations and funds. Just remember to Checkoff Colorado when you file your Colorado State Income Tax.
You can become a fan of Checkoff Colorado on Facebook by searching for it by name, and you can follow Checkoff Colorado on Twitter at http://twitter.com/checkoffcolo.
Enjoy this article? You can receive email alerts when other articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” link above.