The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly reduced the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions (meaning those who actually see a tax benefit for donations made) beginning with the 2018 tax year.  Now, the CARES Act allows a partial “above the line” deduction for cash donations made to qualifying charities.

Limits on Donations

Taxpayers who do not choose to itemize deductions are able to claim up to $300 of charitable contributions this year.  That amount is set, regardless of filing status (single, married filing jointly, etc.). There are a few rules to follow:

  • The donations must be “cash donations” – meaning those paid by cash, check, credit card, electronic funds transfer, payroll deductions, etc.
  • The donations must be made directly to the charitable organization

Planning to Give?

With a new tax benefit to donations, we’re expecting an increase in giving this year.  If you’re planning to give, what do you need to know?  While it’s a best practice to keep records of all charitable donations, to deduct an individual donation totaling $250 or more, you must have a written acknowledgment from the organization.  Don’t worry about something formal; the thank you email you receive after donating is sufficient notice.  Keep those on hand for your 2020 tax preparation.


Questions?  Reach out to your PBMares advisors.  We’re here to help!