Letter: Another reason to donate to charity

Published: 12/22/2020 12:01:47 AM

A reminder to your readers: In 2020, there is a special tax rule in place that lets anyone get a federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions. This rule was adopted as part of the CARES Act, but it is only in effect for 2020.

Around 90% of New Hampshire taxpayers do not “itemize” their tax deductions, because they can claim the “standard deduction” and it yields bigger tax savings. For these taxpayers, normally there is no tax deduction available for donations to charities.

You may have noticed that 2020 is not “normal.”

Under the CARES Act, a deduction will be allowed for taxpayers who do not itemize, for their cash contributions to charitable organizations. If you file as an individual, you can deduct $300 of these cash contributions; a married couple filing jointly can deduct $600.

This tax deduction is only available for donations by Dec. 31, 2020. It applies only to cash contributions (including by check, credit card, or debit card); donations of property don’t count. You should make sure your donation goes to a “501(c)(3)” charitable organization. Political parties and some other organizations that solicit donations are not 501(c)(3) organizations. If it is a 501(c)(“any-number-other-than-3”) organization, your donations probably won’t be tax deductible. Also, the organization should provide an acknowledgement of your gift, which you need to keep for your tax records.

Uncle Sam wants you – to help others.

STEVEN C. ROOT

New London


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