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Tax Deduction for Charitable Donations Expires Friday

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021   

There is still time to give to charity and claim a deduction on your taxes, whether you itemize or not, but the temporary pandemic-era deduction expires Friday, the last day of 2021.

The charitable deduction allows a single person to claim a $300 donation, $600 per couple, without the hassle of itemizing.

Liz Moore, executive director of the Montana Nonprofit Association, said now is the time to give.

"$300 goes a long way for little community nonprofits in allowing them to serve and have less reliance on government," Moore pointed out.

Montana is home to about 7,200 charitable nonprofits helping the community in a multitude of ways: addressing issues such as homelessness or hunger, by supporting things like after-school programs, affordable health care, the environment, the arts and more.

Overall, charitable giving is up over the past few years, mainly due to the generosity of mega-donors, but small donations are down.

A study from Indiana University released in July found fewer than half of Americans donated to charity in 2018, down from two-thirds in 2000.

Moore noted it fell after tax reform in 2017 doubled the standard deduction, which may have helped consumers but hurt nonprofits relying on small donations.

"So 90% of all filers can use the standard deduction," Moore stated. "That means they're going to give less, because they don't need it to get that deduction."

Donors are advised to make sure you keep the receipt, so you have proof of the gift when you file taxes this spring.

Disclosure: Montana Nonprofit Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Environment, Health Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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