For many people, the end of the year is a time to review charitable gifts that have already been made during the year and to consider making additional charitable gifts before the tax year ends. If you are one of these people, we have a few reminders that you might find helpful.
Expanded tax benefits for those who don’t itemize
The law now permits you to claim a limited deduction on your 2021 federal income tax return for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations even if you don’t itemize your deductions. Individuals can claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions to qualifying charities during 2021, and married individuals filing joint returns can claim up to $600.
Qualified charitable distributions
If you are age 70 ½ or older, you can make a qualified charitable distribution (or “QCD”) of up to $100,000, directly from your IRA to a qualified charitable organization. A QCD is generally a nontaxable distribution made by the IRA trustee directly to a charitable organization. A qualifying deduction may also count toward the taxpayers required minimum distribution requirement for the year.
Most cash donations made to charity qualify for the deduction. However, there are some exceptions. Cash contributions that are not tax deductible include those:
- Made to a supporting organization
- Intended to help establish or maintain a donor advised fund
- Carried forward from prior years
- Made to most private foundations
- Made to charitable remainder trusts
These exceptions also apply to taxpayers who itemize their deductions.
Cash contributions include those made by check, credit card or debit card as well as unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with volunteer services to a qualifying charitable organization. Cash contributions don’t include the value of volunteer services, securities, household items or other property.