The CARES Act provided for a temporary above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for people who made cash donations to charity in 2020 and also plan to claim the standard deduction.
Starting in 2021, the deduction was extended and enhanced, including a deduction of up to $600 for joint filers.
Marianela Collado, a certified financial planner at financial planning firm Tobias Financial Advisors, told FOX Business that some individuals who are claiming the standard deduction may not be aware of the provision and may fail to send the information to their accountant or report it themselves.
Nearly 90% of taxpayers claim the standard deduction, which was roughly doubled under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to the IRS. For the 2020 tax year, the standard deduction is $12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for joint filers.
Without the provision, only people who itemize are able to claim charitable deductions, which some believe might have discouraged giving among individuals now that fewer people itemize.
"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," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement late last month.
The deduction lowers adjusted gross income and taxable income. Cash donations include those made by check, credit and debit cards. Gifts made to donor-advised funds are not included.
Taxpayers who itemize can claim a deduction for their charitable contributions on Schedule A – but they cannot claim the above-the-line deduction.