Taxpayers who do not itemize deductions will still be able to deduct up to $300 in charitable donations in 2020, thanks to a provision in the CARES Act. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748, 116th Cong. § 2204 (2020).
In other words, the Form 1040 for the year 2020, electronic or not, will contain a straightforward way to report up to a $300 donation, even for those who otherwise would not report charitable donations.
Points to Remember
- The recipient of a donation must be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Check the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search to verify a particular organization’s status.
- The donation must be cash (such as an electronic donation with a credit or debit card), not stocks or property.
- Keep receipts.
The following sources may be helpful for those who have questions. Of course, consulting a tax lawyer is always advisable.
Ann Carrns, It’s Easier to Get a Tax Deduction for Donations This Year, NEW YORK TIMES (Nov. 20, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/your-money/charity-deductions-taxes-coronavirus.html. (If you are a UofSC student, faculty, or staff member and need to begin or renew your free New York Times online subscription, the link is here: bit.ly/uofscnyt)
Stephen Fishman, New Rules for Charitable Contribution Deductions Under the CARES Act, NOLO https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/new-rules-for-charitable-contribution-deductions-under-the-cares-act.html. (This site also provides referrals to tax lawyers.)
Edward T. Killen, Special Tax Deductions Available This Year for Cash Donations to Charities; IRS Works to Raise Awareness, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: A CLOSER LOOK (Dec. 2, 2020), https://www.irs.gov/about-irs/special-tax-deductions-available-this-year-for-cash-donations-to-charities-irs-works-to-raise-awareness. (This site also provides links to official IRS publications.)