Charity Tax Deductions and the CARES Act

Another quick PSA:

The Trump tax cuts raised the standard deduction, which has meant that a lot fewer people are itemizing deductions. For example, the kind of house a resident can afford is the kind of house that doesn’t generate enough of a deduction to make itemizing worth it these days.

And if you don’t itemize, things like charitable donations aren’t deductible. Still worth doing, of course, but not meaningfully supported by the government.

Except for this year, because the CARES Act allows for a $300 “above the line” deduction for charitable donations, meaning that a) everyone can utilize it even if they don’t itemize, and b) the deduction also lowers adjustable gross income (AGI), which is what’s used as the basis for income-driven repayment (among other things).

So if you were on the fence about donating to any causes before the year is out, the government supports your giving a little more than usual.

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