Principles of Giving

The parameters for giving

Complex tax laws can complicate charitable contributions. A tax expert should always be consulted about your donation strategy. Thus, the following are some guidelines for charity giving:

Ask for a receipt

Suppose a single charity receives a donation of at least $250. Regardless of the amount, you will require a receipt or accompanying bank documents if the donation was made in cash.

For donations of property worth more than $5,000 ($10,000 for closely held shares), obtain an impartial valuation. You won’t require an appraisal for exchange-traded equities, bonds, or mutual funds.
Before you deduct your charitable contribution, subtract the value of any perks you received in exchange (such as books, recordings, dinners, entertainment, and so forth).

If you want a tax break for your charitable contributions, you often have to itemize your deductions on your tax return. You probably won’t itemize if your standard deduction is more than the sum of all your other deductions. You’ll support your preferred charity, which is a worthwhile goal in and of itself, but you won’t save money on taxes.
Even if you don’t itemize your tax deductions for 2021, you might be able to claim a modest charity deduction. If a monetary donation was given to an active charity in 2021, an individual might deduct up to $300, while a married couple may deduct up to $600.

The deductible donation is subject to annual caps. You can take a larger donation deduction for specified charities under the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, but only for cash donations in 2020 and 2021. Individuals may deduct 100% of AGI on cash donations to eligible functioning organizations under this temporary regulation (contributions to private foundations and donor-advised funds are excluded from this rule).

Your donations to approved charities will be tax-deductible up to the regular AGI limitations if you decide not to use the 100% AGI limit. Unless you contribute cash, the maximum rises to 60% of AGI, and your gift deduction will typically be capped at 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). In contrast, you can only donate up to 30% of your AGI in appreciated assets to a recognised charity. Donations to specific organizations, such as private foundations, are exempt from these restrictions.