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Chickadee Tax Check-off

"Chickadee Check-off" or Fish/Wildlife Fund

Chickadee Check-offThrough the Chickadee Checkoff, Iowa taxpayers can donate to Iowa’s wildlife diversity programs on their state tax forms. The funding assists thousands of vulnerable species such as songbirds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and more.

What kind of projects does a donation to the fish/wildlife fund help support?

  • Designation of Bird Conservation Areas in key areas around the state supporting increased habitat for all types of birds
  • Restoration of previously lost Iowa Wildlife such as: Peregrine Falcons, Ospreys, Trumpeter Swans, and Prairie Chickens
  • Monitoring of species populations through research projects and volunteer surveys such as: multi-species inventory and monitoring; the breeding bird atlas; the breeding bird survey; the Bald eagle midwinter survey; frog and toad call surveys; and raptor nest and colonial water bird colony monitoring
  • Educational Wildlife Appreciation events held all over the state such as: Bald Eagle Watch Days, Pelican Fest, Prairie Chicken Day
  • And much more!

The Chickadee Checkoff was established by the Iowa Legislature in 1981. Donations to the check-off (referred to on the tax form as the Fish/Wildlife Fund) are tax deductible on the next year’s tax form. Additionally, every penny of your donation goes directly to the Wildlife Diversity Program - there are no administrative or processing fees.

At its height, Iowans donated more than $200,000 annually to the fund. The revenue from the Chickadee Check-off has exhibited an overall downward trend since 2001, although it has stabilized in recent years around $130,000.

A brochure about the tax check-off is available for download:

Chickadee Tax Check-off Brochure 

Instructions for Printing Brochure: To print as a foldable brochure, it will need to be printed, double-sided on legal sized paper. You may also need to adjust the "double-sided" printer settings to have both sides of the brochure printed the same way up.

How Can You Donate?

Making a donation is easy!

When completing your taxes, look for Step 5: Tax Nonrefundable Credits,  and CheckOff Contributions. It is at line 21 on Iowa's state 1040 long tax form. The donation is called the Fish/Wildlife Fund.

Simply fill out the amount you would like to donate -- if you are owed a refund, the amount of your donation will be automatically deducted. If you owe taxes back, the donation amount will be added to the final amount you owe. For official instructions and descriptions of all the tax check-offs, please visit the Iowa Department of Revenue's website. You may also download a state tax form from their site.

You can now donate to the Wildlife Diversity program online!


How Else Can You Help?

Spread the word! The more people that are aware of the check-off, the more people will donate. If you are a tax-preparer or even own another type of business we have brochures and posters that you can make available to your clients.

If you'd like to order some (free of charge) please contact Stephanie Shepherd, 515-230-6599. The most recent poster is the Amphibians of Iowa.