Here’s How to Make Your Charity Dollars Count Under the New Tax Law

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By Jeff Bernier via

During the time our team spent preparing for our Tax Seminar earlier this month, one of the big questions that has come up during our discussions with our partners at Gruber/Kingsley CPAs is how our clients can make charitable donations count under the new Tax Law. This is important not only for those of us who make sizable annual donations to church and other charities, but also for the charities themselves, many of whom are concerned that overall giving may drop as a result of changes to the tax law.

If you haven’t heard, one of the big changes to your taxes next year will be the increase in the standard deduction. The deduction for married couples filing jointly has nearly doubled, climbing from $13,000 to $24,000. Single taxpayers and those who are married and file separately are seeing a similar jump from $6,500 to the new $12,000 standard deduction.

Although anything that simplifies the filing process is generally considered a plus, the change has made it more challenging to receive tax deductions for charitable gifts. While in the past most people typically hit the standard deduction fairly easily (especially because it included mortgage and tax deductions that have now been significantly reduced), it will now be less common to exceed the standard deduction. The result: many people won’t be itemizing their deductions under the new law. And without itemization, charitable gifts can seem much less attractive from a tax perspective.

The good news is that there are ways to help make every charitable dollar count. Here are three easy-to-implement options:

  • Give multiple years’ worth of gifts in one calendar year. Bunching your annual gifts can help ensure your gifts aren’t “wasted” from a tax perspective.

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