When filing a Colorado individual income tax return, one has the option to donate some or all of your refund to a charitable fund chosen from a list: Form DR 0104CH. (It is also possible to write in a different Colorado charity on line 17 if the list doesn't include one that you like.)

Suppose that it is the year 2022 and I am filing my 2021 Colorado return. I will be receiving a refund, and I am thinking about donating part of it via this form. Let's say I want to donate $500 toward the Unwanted Horse Fund (line 14).

Now I am planning to itemize deductions for 2022, and so I would like to be able to deduct this $500 on my 2022 federal return when I file it in 2023. Since it is over $250, the IRS normally would require that I keep a receipt or similar record to substantiate the contribution, and as verification that I didn't receive any goods or services in exchange for it.

  • Can the full amount of my 0104CH contribution ($500) be deducted as a charitable contribution on my 2022 return? If not, what amount can be deducted? (If it's not fully or almost fully deductible, then I would skip using 0104CH and make a payment directly to a horse care charity instead.)

  • Will the Department of Revenue, or the charity itself, provide me with a receipt that I can use as substantiation?

  • If not, is my Colorado tax return by itself considered an adequate record to substantiate my contribution? Can I use my own copy of my filed return, or do I have to get an official copy or transcript from the state?

None of the documentation I found about 0104CH says anything about them sending you a receipt. And IRS Pub 526 says you should keep a bank record, receipt, or payroll deduction records; a tax return doesn't really fit any of these categories. The Colorado tax return also doesn't include the magic phrase "no goods or services were provided" which is normally needed if the contribution was over $250.

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    Keep in mind that any donation you make on the state tax return you send in this year would be deductible on the federal return you will send in next year.
    – Ben Miller
    Mar 18, 2022 at 13:09
  • @BenMiller-RememberMonica: Right. It's now 2022 and I'm filing my return for tax year 2021. I would claim the deduction on my return for tax year 2022, which I will file in 2023. Mar 18, 2022 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Can the full amount of my 0104CH contribution ($500) be deducted as a charitable contribution on my 2022 return?


Will the Department of Revenue, or the charity itself, provide you with a receipt after you file?

No, they will not provide any additional receipt.

See the "Exceptions" here in Pub 526:


An organization won't have to give you this statement if one of the following is true.

  1. The organization is:

    a. A governmental organization described in (5) under Types of Qualified Organizations, earlier, or

You're giving money to the Colorado Department of Revenue, which is a subdivision of the State government, you're not giving directly to the charities.

You're giving it as part of your tax payment, so it's a "partial" contribution: you do receive some goods and services for the tax liability, only the extra amounts you specify on the form 0104CH are the charitable contribution part.

If not, is your Colorado tax return itself considered an adequate record by the IRS?


  • Hmm, that passage from Pub 526 is about payments that are "partly a contribution and partly for goods or services", which isn't applicable here. Still, it's a helpful indication. Mar 18, 2022 at 15:37
  • "See the "Exceptions" here in Pub 526:" I infer from your answer that the thing this is an exception to is "You must provide receipts", but I think that could do with being made more explicit. Mar 18, 2022 at 17:29
  • @NateEldredge, no, it's for written statement. See what's above the exception paragraph.
    – littleadv
    Mar 18, 2022 at 19:56
  • "A qualified organization must give you a written statement if you make a payment of more than $75 that is partly a contribution and partly for goods or services." Here the payment is entirely a contribution, so even if I had made the payment to an ordinary charity, it wouldn't be this paragraph that obliges them to give me a written statement. The situation for pure contributions is much later under "Substantiation requirements" and doesn't actually seem to require the charity to provide a statement at all in that case. Mar 18, 2022 at 20:14
  • @NateEldredge but.... You do receive goods and services. You're contributing as part of your tax return, the rest of your taxes - where do you think they go?
    – littleadv
    Mar 18, 2022 at 20:20

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