The November election is still months away, but you have the option now of showing monetary support for your political party through the political check-off on your state tax return. Department of Revenue spokes person, Kay Arvidson, says the check-off allows you to make a donation to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or split between both.

“This is a dollar-fifty contribution that does not affect your refund, or the amount of tax you pay, and it is optional. It’s not required as part of processing a tax return,” Arvidson says. The money goes into the Iowa Election Campaign Fund and the political parties can request the funds to pay for campaign expenses.

Arvidson says there are only two parties on this year’s check-off, but that would change if there is a third party that gets enough votes in the November presidential election to become a “qualified party.”

“If a presidential candidate receives at least 2% of the national vote, then that party is identified as a qualified party and it’s placed on the tax form,” Arvidson says. “The latest data I have is from taxes paid in 2010. And in that year, approximately 70,000 people participated in the political check-off, and that raised $105,000,” Arvidson says.

If you have someone prepare your taxes, Arvidson says the preparer should ask you if you want to participate in the political check-off. She says if you want to participate and they don’t ask, you should let them know.