Last year, a total of $1,079,661 was donated through 32,378 tax returns, the revenue department said.
That may sound like a small percentage, but with nearly two-thirds of all tax returns prepared by paid preparers, taxpayers don't always know the checkoffs are available when they drop off their statements and receipts, Scholz said.
Officials encourge e-filing
State officials are pushing residents to file electronically, rather than on printed forms.
"We're now at, roughly, 80 percent of individual returns e-filed," said Richard Chandler, Wisconsin Revenue secretary. "It's easy, secure and very accurate. You can receive confirmation immediately when your return is filed and best of all, you can receive your refund within days rather than waiting for weeks, when you e-file."
Chandler said Wisconsin was among the top 10 states in its percentage of e-filed returns last year, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.
The revenue department released a mobile application on January 3 for taxpayers to get information, on-the-go.
"Folks can use it to look up their refund. They can also use it to see if there is a free volunteer tax assistance site near them," revenue department spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.
In addition, the app lists phone numbers and some email addresses for contacting the department about specific issues. "As more people use it, we plan to add more services to it," Patrick said.
Similar refunds expected
Last year, the average refund was $685.49, the Revenue Department said.
Scholz said taxpayers who didn't have many changes in their income last year will probably get a similar refund this year. "Wisconsin withholding tables did not change between 2011 and 2012 and the tax rates haven't changed, either," he said. "(So) their refunds should be almost exactly the same."
The state expects about 3 million income tax returns to be filed.