There are four options to contribute to various causes on your state tax return. Department of Revenue spokesperson, Kay Arvidson, says one of the “checkoffs” is the Fish and Wildlife Fund.
“That’s also called the Chickadee Checkoff and that funds the Iowa Wildlife Diversity Program, there is a State Fairgrounds Foundation checkoff. That’s also called the Corn Dog Checkoff, and that money goes to the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation for funding capital projects and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds,” Arvidson says.
A third checkoff combines the Firefighters Preparedness Fund and Veterans Trust Fund. The funds are split between the two organizations, with the firefighter fund helping fire departments with preparedness and emergency response training. Arvidson says the Veterans Trust Fund helps with job training expenses related to facility or at-home care, individual or family counseling, and other services.
The fourth fund is for Child Abuse Prevention. “This funds crisis and respite care for children, parent education, childrens’ abuse prevention programs and young parent support,” Arvidson says. You can donate one dollar or more to each of the funds, and it will impact the final tax tally.
“Whatever your contribution is, it either reduces your refund, or it adds to the amount of tax you pay,” Arvidson says. State law allows four checkoffs for organizations each year. Arvidson says the amount of funding determines which groups are allowed.
“The lowest two checkoff contributions are deleted from the form, then the legislature has the ability to add those back or to review the process, so that no more than four checkoffs are on the tax form each year,” Arvidson says. If you file your taxes electronically, there is a section where you can make a donation to the checkoffs.
Arvidson says if someone prepares your taxes the preparer will likely ask you if you want to make a donation to the funds.