CARES Act Expands Tax Deductions for Charitable Giving

Which tax break you can take under the economic stimulus bill depends on whether you itemize or claim the standard deduction on your 2020 tax return.

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After the 2017 tax reform law, which nearly doubled the standard deduction, the number of Americans claiming the itemized deduction for charitable gifts dropped sharply (as predicted). The law also triggered a decline in charitable donations by individuals (again, as predicted). But with the coronavirus crisis upon us, we're going to need help from churches, food pantries, and other charitable organizations more than ever to climb our way back to normal. To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the recently enacted government stimulus bill (the "CARES Act") provides some additional tax relief for donors. This makes it easier to give and save at the same time.

For more ways the CARES Act can boost your financial health, see 11 Ways the Stimulus Package and Other Government Measures Could Help You in 2020.

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.