hand holding pen over 1040 formThe CARES Act, which went into effect last spring, established a new “above-the –line” deduction for charitable giving.


The “line” is your adjusted gross income “AGI” which is your income after deductions, last year line 11b on your federal 1040 return.


You may NOW write off up to $300 in cash donations to a qualified public charity on your 2020 individual income tax return, which normally you would have had to itemize your deductions to deduct charitable giving.


This means that even taxpayers who take the standard deduction will be able to claim up to $300 in charitable donation deductions on their tax returns under the following provisions:

  1. Donations must be made by December 31, 2020
  2. Donations must be made in cash, credit card or check form. You may not donate appreciated assets such as stocks.
  3. Donations must be made directly to the qualified public charity, and you should retain your acknowledgement letter from the charitable organization.


In addition, the CARES Act also eliminated the deduction percentage limitation with respect to charitable giving as it relates to total taxable income.


You may now deduct an amount equivalent to your total taxable income as an itemized deduction in any one year rather than just a percentage of it.