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"Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund" Tax Checkoff Passes House and Senate!

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May 11, 2018

SB 18-141 has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is headed to the Governor's desk!

141 is sponsored by Senator Lois Court (D-Denver) and Representatives James Wilson (R-Salida) and Chris Hansen (D-Denver).

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Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators and signed our petition!

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141 authorizes a new line on the tax form for 2020 called the "Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund," which allows Colorado taxpayers to donate part or all of their tax refund to any nonprofit registered in Colorado. All the taxpayer would need to do is write or type in the amount of the donation and provide information to identify which nonprofit will receive the donation.

The Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund provides donors with the opportunity to give at a time when they have additional disposable income. It encourages donors to give during tax season in addition to year-end giving.

To be eligible, the nonprofit must be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State for charitable solicitations for at least five years and in good standing.

Why This Bill Matters 

Last year, Coloradans received over $1 billion in income tax refunds. They donated almost a quarter of a percent of their refunds ($1.9 million) to the 20 tax checkoffs on the form. If they increase their giving by one percent, nonprofits will receive an additional $10 million to support their essential work of strengthening our communities.

Giving Coloradans the choice of donating their tax refunds to eligible registered nonprofits will encourage them to give more and support a wider range of organizations  If 141 becomes law, taxpayers could still choose to donate their tax refunds to any other checkoff fund on the form. Nor does 141 affect the renewal of existing tax checkoffs or establishment of new ones.

In 1977, Colorado became the first state to allow taxpayers to donate to nonprofits and charitable causes via the state tax return. By signing SB 18-141 into law, Colorado would become the first state to allow taxpayers to write-in the nonprofit of their choice when they donate their tax refunds via the state tax return.        

How Will it Work? 

  • Nonprofits will complete their annual charitable solicitations report with the Colorado Secretary of State, so they remain registered for five years and in good standing
  • On the Voluntary Contributions Schedule on the Colorado Tax Return, taxpayers will see a line starting in 2020 for the Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund
  • Taxpayers can write or type in the amount of their refund donation and provide information to identify which nonprofit will receive the donation
  • Taxpayers can make their entire refund donation to this fund or donate various amounts to this fund and other tax checkoffs
  • The Department of Revenue (DOR) will direct payment of the donation from the Treasurer to the recipient nonprofit organization.
  • Gifts grants and donations willl pay for start-up and ongoing management of the program by DOR.
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