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Did you donate to charity in 2022? You can still deduct your contributions if you itemized deduction, however the direct deduction is no longer available.
Even with the health and financial uncertainty in 2021, donations were up 4%. Americans are incredibly generous even during tough times. Unfortunately, the direct deduction of up to $300 per taxpayer has expired. You can still deduct your contributions if you itemize deductions.
What is a charitable contribution and what does it mean for you?
Charitable contributions or donations are gifts to qualified non-profit organizations to help support their work on behalf of the people and communities they serve. The gift can be items in new or good (used) condition or cash.
Cash donations include:
- Payroll deduction
- Check or credit card
- The value of items purchased and immediately donated such as food for the local food pantry or office supplies for the church
Items that are and are not eligible for contribution
- Items eligible to claim:
- Tithing to a religious organization
- Payroll deductions to the Red Cross
- Food for the food pantry
- Clothing and household goods in good condition
- Items that aren’t eligible for a deduction:
- Money for a specific person doing volunteer work
- The value of your volunteer time
- Child care while doing volunteer work
Cash contributions are reported on Schedule A. Taxpayers who do not itemize deductions can not claim a deduction. Your contributions to various organizations raising funds outside of a store are deductible if you write a check and the organization is listed on the IRS qualified organization list.
Donated goods contribution
Donated goods include non-cash contributions that are in good or better condition. Donated items may include:
- Household items:
Cash donations are limited to 60% of income for 2022 and forward.
Are you eligible for a deduction? If so, how to claim
If you are itemizing deductions, you can claim all of your charitable contributions. If you claim the standard deduction, you are no longer eligible for a deduction of any charitable contributions.
You can claim the contributions in only one way - itemized deduction. To itemize deductions you must exceed the standard deduction amount for each filing status:
- Single and Married Filing Single (if spouse doesn’t itemize deductions - $12,950
- Head of Household - $19,400
- Married Filing Jointly and Qualifying Surviving Spouse - $25,900
Using age to your advantage
The law requires taxpayers to start Traditional IRAs or retirement plan distributions when they reach age 72 or no longer work. This is called ‘drawing down’ your account. Your drawdown amount is based on your age and the age of your beneficiary based on life insurance tables.
If you’re age 72 or older, you have an opportunity to make a big charitable contribution. To do this, you need to combine the values of all the traditional IRAs you have money in, then check the life insurance tables to see how much you need to withdraw from your IRA(s) for the year.
If you make your contribution by having your plan administrator directly transfer the money to a charity of your choice, your contribution up to $100,000 of your transfer, will be tax-free. If you make this contribution, you can’t claim it as part of itemized deductions. If you can’t itemize deductions without this contribution, you can claim the standard deduction. If you can do this, it’s essentially a win-win for you. It’s also important to note that money distributed from a pension fund or Roth account isn’t subject to these rules.