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Temporary Suspension of Limits on Charitable Contributions



In most cases, the amount of charitable cash contributions taxpayers can deduct on Schedule A as an itemized deduction is limited to a percentage (usually 60 percent) of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified contributions are not subject to this limitation. Individuals may deduct qualified contributions of up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. A corporation may deduct qualified contributions of up to 25 percent of its taxable income. Contributions that exceed that amount can carry over to the next tax year. To qualify, the contribution must be: 

  • a cash contribution;

  • made to a qualifying organization;

  • made during the calendar year 2020

Contributions of non-cash property do not qualify for this relief. Taxpayers may still claim non-cash contributions as a deduction, subject to the normal limits.


The Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments page provides information about tax help for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).


Temporary Increase in Limits on Contributions of Food Inventory

There is a special rule allowing enhanced deductions by businesses for contributions of food inventory for the care of the ill, needy or infants.  The amount of charitable contributions of food inventory a business taxpayer can deduct under this rule is limited to a percentage (usually 15 percent) of the taxpayer’s aggregate net income or taxable income.  For contributions of food inventory in 2020, business taxpayers may deduct qualified contributions of up to 25 percent of their aggregate net income from all trades or businesses from which the contributions were made or up to 25 percent of their taxable income.  

The Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments page provides information about tax help for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).


This article generally explains the rules covering income tax deductions for charitable contributions by individuals. You can find a more comprehensive discussion of these rules in Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. For information about the substantiation and disclosure requirements for charitable contributions, see Publication 1771. You can obtain these publications free of charge by calling 1-800-829-3676.


You may deduct charitable contributions of money or property made to qualified organizations if you itemize your deductions. Generally, you may deduct up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income, but 20 percent and 30 percent limitations apply in some cases. Tax Exempt Organization Search uses deductibility status codes to identify these limitations.


Qualified Organizations

You may deduct a charitable contribution made to, or for the use of, any of the following organizations that otherwise are qualified under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code:

  1. A state or United States possession (or political subdivision thereof), or the United States or the District of Columbia, if made exclusively for public purposes;

  2. A community chest, corporation, trust, fund, or foundation, organized or created in the United States or its possessions, or under the laws of the United States, any state, the District of Columbia or any possession of the United States, and organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals;

  3. A church, synagogue, or other religious organization;

  4. A war veterans' organization or its post, auxiliary, trust, or foundation organized in the United States or its possessions;

  5. A nonprofit volunteer fire company;

  6. A civil defense organization created under federal, state, or local law (this includes unreimbursed expenses of civil defense volunteers that are directly connected with and solely attributable to their volunteer services);

  7. A domestic fraternal society, operating under the lodge system, but only if the contribution is to be used exclusively for charitable purposes;

  8. A nonprofit cemetery company if the funds are irrevocably dedicated to the perpetual care of the cemetery as a whole and not a particular lot or mausoleum crypt.

Timing of Contributions

Contributions must actually be paid in cash or other property before the close of your tax year to be deductible, whether you use the cash or accrual method.


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