If you pay income taxes in California, there’s a quick and easy way that you can help protect sea otters and encourage their continued recovery. All you have to do is fill in a box!

Donations to the California Sea Otter Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund support research into sea otter mortality and programs that improve nearshore habitats and protect sea otters. The Fund derives solely from voluntary contributions by California taxpayers, so this is your once-a-year opportunity to advance critical sea otter conservation efforts.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. When preparing your California Resident Income Tax Return, go to the Contributions section on side 4 of Form 540 or side 3 of Form 540-2EZ.
  2. Enter the amount of money you wish to donate to the California Sea Otter Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund in the box next to code 410.
  3. Submit your tax forms as usual and know that you’ve helped a great cause. Plus, when you do next year’s taxes, this donation will be tax-deductible! 

If someone else prepares your state tax return:

Please tell him or her that you want to make a voluntary contribution to the California Sea Otter Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.

If you use Turbo Tax:

When you near the end of your tax return, it should ask if you want to make a voluntary contribution to a special fund. Click “Yes,” then scroll to the box next to code 410 and enter the amount you want to donate.

For additional information, please visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Tax Donation page, their Sea Otter Fund Facebook page, and the California State Coastal Conservancy’s Sea Otter Recovery Fund page.

Wildlife and Wild Places

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