Tax Deductible Donations: How to Give to Nonprofits, Claim Deductions and Things to Remember

Tax Deductible Donations: How to Give to Nonprofits, Claim Deductions and Things to Remember2021-02-19T15:50:54-05:00

Charitable contribution deductions

Charitable giving can lead to tax benefits. Tax deductible donations count as tax-deductible expenses that can lower your tax bill. In order to claim a charitable contribution as a tax deductible donation you must:

  1. Donate!
  2. Ensure you are donating to a qualified tax-exempt organization
  3. Keep records that confirm donation(s)

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit child advocacy organization, the CDF’s IRS tax identification number is 52-0895622.

Your tax-exempt donation can help the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) continue fighting to make sure every child in America has what they need to thrive

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Thanks to our supporters, the Children’s Defense Fund can fight every day to defend against attacks on our children’s safety and well-being and make sure every child has the chance to live up to their potential. We’re working to lift children out of poverty, ensure their access to quality health care, and establish a public education system with equitable resources for all. Find out the CDF community helped children reach their full potential in 2020.

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How to claim tax deductible donations on your tax return

Typically, you must itemize your tax deductions in order to claim them. This can be done by filling out a Schedule A form. The Schedule A is divided into numerous sections and subsections, allowing taxpayers to add up various types of expenses that can qualify for tax deductions. After calculating the total sum of itemized deductions, enter that total on your Form 1040. At tax time, the IRS Schedule A form must be filed with your Form 1040.

However, the 2020 tax year is an exception: donations of up to $300 given before December 31, 2020 do not require itemization to be claimed as tax deductible donations.

This is considered an “above-the-line” deduction and results in tax-savings for those making donations to qualifying tax-exempt organizations.


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Please make a monthly gift today.

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Things to remember when you claim tax-deductible donations on your tax return

In 2020, the charitable limit is $300 per tax return. In the 2021 tax year, the deductible rises to $300 per person, thus allowing couples filing jointly to deduct $300, for a total of $600, without having to itemize. 

Itemizing is time-consuming, so it may be better for taxpayers to take the standard deduction. 

The standard deduction amounts by filing status are as follows:

Filing status 2020 tax year 2021 tax year
Single $12,400 $12,550
Married, filing jointly $24,800 $25,100
Married, filing separately $12,400 $12,500
Head of household $18,650



Additional documentation is needed if donations are worth more than $250. The IRS requires that the taxpayer receive a letter of acknowledgment from the charitable organization. This letter must be received by the date the taxpayer files their taxes.

Your time is valuable! Expenses from volunteering for a qualified organization can be considered tax-deductible donations. These expenses must be directly related to the volunteer work you participated in and can include mileage deductions.

Other ways to give to support CDF


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