Beginning with tax year 2020, taxpayers may claim up to $300 in charitable cash donations, in addition to the standard deduction.
As background, individual taxpayers claim a standard deduction or itemize deductions like mortgage interest, property taxes, and charitable contributions. The 2018 tax code increased the standard deduction, while limiting certain itemized deductions.
As a result of these changes, less people are itemizing.
Fewer itemizers means less people claiming charitable donations as a deduction on tax returns. A concern arising after passage of the 2018 tax code is whether this change would impact donations; in particular, those contributions made by fixed-income and middle-class donors.
To combat these concerns, beginning with tax year 2020, Congress is allowing a special, ‘above-the-line’ deduction of up to $300. ‘Above-the-line’ means this charitable deduction can be claimed in addition to the standard deduction.
One caveat: the charitable contribution must be cash (or check). No clothing donations, etc.