Donate in 2020 for a Tax Deduction

form and calculatorTaxpayers who do not itemize deductions will still be able to deduct up to $300 in charitable donations in 2020, thanks to a provision in the CARES Act. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748, 116th Cong. § 2204 (2020).

In other words, the Form 1040 for the year 2020, electronic or not, will contain a straightforward way to report up to a $300 donation, even for those who otherwise would not report charitable donations. 

Points to Remember

  • hand putting money into a box with a heartThe recipient of a donation must be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Check the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search to verify a particular organization’s status.
  • The donation must be cash (such as an electronic donation with a credit or debit card), not stocks or property.
  • Keep receipts.

More Information

The following sources may be helpful for those who have questions. Of course, consulting a tax lawyer is always advisable.

Ann Carrns, It’s Easier to Get a Tax Deduction for Donations This Year, NEW YORK TIMES (Nov. 20, 2020), (If you are a UofSC student, faculty, or staff member and need to begin or renew your free New York Times online subscription, the link is here:

Stephen Fishman, New Rules for Charitable Contribution Deductions Under the CARES Act, NOLO (This site also provides referrals to tax lawyers.)

Edward T. Killen, Special Tax Deductions Available This Year for Cash Donations to Charities; IRS Works to Raise Awareness, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: A CLOSER LOOK (Dec. 2, 2020), (This site also provides links to official IRS publications.)