Expanded tax benefits can help both individuals and businesses give to charity before the end of this year. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted last spring, includes four temporary tax changes that are designed to help people and businesses who give to charity this yearHere is a rundown of these key changes.

Individuals who take the standard deduction generally cannot claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. However, the CARES Act permits these individuals to claim a limited deduction on their 2020 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to certain qualifying charitable organizations and still claim the standard deduction. Nearly nine in 10 taxpayers now take the standard deduction and could potentially qualify. 

Under this change, these individuals can claim an “above-the-line” deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made to qualifying charities during 2020. The maximum above-the-line deduction is $150 for married individuals filing separate returns.