CARES Act Special $300 Deduction for People who Claim the Standard Deduction

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted by Congress last spring, includes temporary tax changes helping charities including a special $300 deduction designed especially for people who choose to take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing their deductions. A cash donation to a qualifying charity before the end of 2020 can earn a deduction of up to $300.

Almost 90% of taxpayers now take the standard deduction and could potentially qualify for this new tax deduction.

This could help taxpayers when they file their taxes in 2021 – and help many organizations across the country as they try to help people coping with the coronavirus. Many charities are struggling this year, and donations for many are down.

The Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) tool on can be used to make sure an organization is eligible for tax-deductible donations.

Under the law, special recordkeeping rules apply to any taxpayer claiming a deduction for a charitable contribution. Usually it means simply getting a receipt or acknowledgement letter from the charity before filing your tax return and retaining a cancelled check or credit card receipt.

Posted in IRS, Taxes, Tips