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Local charities surprised to learn about Colorado's new tax refund rule

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Posted at 7:46 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 08:32:26-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Tax season is officially underway. If you're not a procrastinator, you may have already gotten your refund or it's on the way. If you're not sure what to do with your tax refund, there's a new option in Colorado that can help you give back.

Thanks to Senate Bill 18-141, Colorado residents can now donate their income tax refund to a registered nonprofit. This is a new rule that several charities News5 spoke to didn't even know about.

One society that will benefit from this program is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society.

"We are one of only a handful of zoos in America that operates without any sort of tax support, so donations really are our life blood," said Kelly Parker, director of development at the zoo.

Here's how the program works. According to a campaign called "ReFUND CO," taxpayers can look for the suggestion to donate to a Colorado nonprofit. While you're filing your taxes, you can write the registration number of the organization you wish to donate to. There are nearly 8,000 charities to choose from. Keep in mind, you don't have to give away your entire check but any little bit helps.

"This is amazing for us," Parker explained. "[Donations] help us give guests great experiences, we help save endangered species, and we help give guests the experience of a life time with every visit."

The nonprofit you give to must have been registered under the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act for the past five years in order to qualify to receive donations. If you would like a list of qualified charities, click here.