The new tax law passed last year increased the standard deduction for a married couple to $24,000 (a little higher if you are over 64 years old), making itemizing these donations on your tax return mostly irrelevant.
Nevertheless, there are still ways to make your charitable donations work for you as well as your charity. 1) The charitable donation deduction allows you to lower your taxable income for donations or gifts to qualified, tax-exempt organizations. To get the deduction, you must file Form 1040, the form you use for an individual or joint income tax return and list the contributions on Schedule A.
2) If you have an IRA and are at least 70 1/2 years old, the Required Minimum Distribution that kicks in at that age, may be directed to the church thereby reducing your tax burden by lowering your adjusted gross Income. Please consult a financial adviser to make sure this works for you and to understand all the fine points, including how it affects your required minimum distribution (RMD) and any limits on how much you can transfer.
Here are a few helpful websites we’ve found. But again, our best advice is to consult someone who knows and helps with your finances. There are good options for you.