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Saturday, September 23, 2023

New Colorado program allows donations to any eligible nonprofit from state tax refund

By Jessie Koerner
Special to The SUN
Starting this tax season, Coloradans can give all or part of their state income tax refund to a local charity in their community, choosing from any one of more than 7,750 eligible nonprofits registered with the state.
Although 41 states have some form of tax checkoff program, this is the first program in the nation to give this breadth of choice to taxpayers who want to make a charitable donation from their state income tax refund.
Through the new Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit program, taxpayers can choose to directly support any eligible Colorado-registered charity with a simple designation on their state income tax return.
Previously, Colorado taxpayers could donate from their state income tax refund to only one of 18 causes approved by the legislature.
In 2018, Colorado returned more than $1 billion in state income tax refunds, averaging $563 each to over 1.9 million individual taxpayers, according to data from the Colorado Department of Revenue. If taxpayers choose to donate a portion of their refunds this tax season, the surge of support will give much-needed funding to community charities across Colorado.
“Philanthropy and the desire to promote the welfare of others doesn’t just come from foundations, grantmaking organizations or exclusively wealthy people. You’re a philanthropist, too, when you support your favorite cause — no matter the amount. There are hundreds of nonprofits in Colorado who offer programs and services to individuals, families and communities that matter to each of us personally. This new program is an opportune way for Coloradans to explore what it means to be a philanthropist, no matter your background, network or income level,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation.
In 1977, Colorado became the first state to allow taxpayers to donate from their income tax refund to a charitable cause.
To participate this year, taxpayers should look for the “Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit” line of their tax return or tax software and enter the name and registration number of the organization they want to support. Nonprofit registration numbers can easily be found by searching the database at RefundWhatMatters.org.
Taxpayers can designate the specific amount of their refund they want to give to the nonprofit they choose — up to the full amount of their state income tax refund. These gifts are anonymous and will be distributed to the designated charity.

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