New Tax Change Is a Win-Win for Taxpayers and Charities

Time is ticking to take advantage of the special tax break

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A little known tax change may help you keep more money in the bank while helping your favorite charity. The CARES Act, which was signed into law last spring, allows you to deduct a cash donation without having to itemize your 2020 taxes. Under this special tax provision, you can claim a donation up to $300 even if you take the standard deduction. 

"Our nation's charities are struggling to help those suffering from COVID-19, and many deserving organizations can use all the help they can get," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Mary’s Center provides health care, education, and other social services to thousands of people in the D.C. region. Like many other charities, Mary’s Center continues to serve those in need despite seeing their donations plummet. So this new tax provision is a welcome boost. 

“We really embraced it and thought this was fantastic,” said Heather Morgan, Executive Director of Mary’s Center. “This is a way people who don’t have major bid donations, that are not doing itemizations for their deductions, but they can feel like they’re getting an added benefit for what they’re doing for charity.”

Here’s what you need to know to get this $300 write-off.

  • On the 1040 tax form, look for line 10b to write in the amount of your charitable contribution.
  • The donation must be made by December 31 and must be paid with cash, check, credit, or debit card.
  • You must donate to a qualified charity.
  • Keep good records. Get a receipt or use a canceled check or credit card receipt. You’ll need to include it with your return.
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