This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2018-01-06 at 16:52 and has been accessed 121 times at 43 hits per month.

The Charitable Contributions Myth

“If you don't itemize you [CAN NOT DEDUCT] charitable contributions.”

So called “100% tax deductible” contributions ARE NOT deductible for the majority of taxpayers.

They are deductible only if you itemize, and that includes almost all the lower income filers.

“There are many personal tax deductions you can take only if you itemize your deductions. This requires you to list the amount of each deduction on IRS Schedule A and file it with your tax return. Itemized deductions include many of the most popular tax deductions such as home mortgage interest, medical expenses, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, and unreimbursed job expenses.

However, if you're like most taxpayers, you don't itemize. This is because the standard deduction exceeds the value of all of your itemized deductions. [Can only] itemize if your total itemized deductions are worth more than the standard deduction. About two-thirds of all taxpayers take the standard deduction.


If you don't itemize you can forget about deducting things like charitable contributions.”

For 2018 the standard deduction would have been $6,500 for single, $13,000 for couple,

and for seniors an additional $1,300 for single, $2,600 for couples has been kept.

So a non-Senior couple would have had to find expenses (including charitable contributions) adding up to $13,000 in order to take the charitable deductions. For Seniors, the bar is even higher, $15,600.

Charitable contributions are deductible only if your total deductible items add up to more than those aforementioned limits.

The trump tax plan makes the deduction $12,000 for single, $24,000 for joint
BUT, the trump tax eliminates the personal exemption, which
for 2018 would be $4,100 for single, $8,200 for joint.

1n 2018 we could standard deduct $6,500 + exempt $4,100 = $10,600 single, $13,000 + $8,200 = $21,200 couple.

The difference is $12,000 - $10,600 = $1,400 for single, $24,000 - $21,200 = $2,800 per couple.

That is 13.33% change

Compare your tax using a spreadsheet.  You just have to enter yes or no for senior and your AGI - the sheet calculates deductions for single and joint, for Trump's newly passed tax structure and compares it to what would have been the tax structure for 2018 if the Trump tax give-away had not been passed.

No warranties, only as accurate as stuff I found on the internet.   Have fun.  - No, I don't do other peoples taxes.

P.S. when you download the spreadsheet, if it opens "read only", you will have to save a copy before you can use it.

It's written in LibreOffice, the open source free replacement for Microsoft Office, but it should work in Excel.