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End-of-year charitable donations may not help tax bill

Goodwill Donations
Posted at 4:16 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-31 17:48:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017 changed many parts of how people pay taxes, and as 2018 wraps up, one of those chances - the increase in the standard deduction - might have had an affect on charitable giving.

Changes to tax law may have come as an unwelcome surprise to many who count on end-of-year giving to lower their overall taxes.

"Last year, you may have had a $12,000 standard deduction if you were a married couple filing jointly, or just over $6,000 if you were single. This year, that's doubled to $12,000 for a single filer and $24,000 for a married couple filing together," said Nathan Rigney, Lead Tax Research Analyst, H&R Block.

The changes are also impacting local charities that count on donations.

The Salvation Army fell short of their $8.2 million goal.

"We're expecting to finish up our 2018 Christmas fundraising about $500,000 short of our goal," said Salvation Army Major Curtiss Hartley.

Many other organizations are feeling the impact this holiday season. The Goodwill location in Overland Park, Kansas said they are down 20 percent for this time of year.

What is normally a record time of year for Goodwill is falling short of years past. Those dialing back donations could impact the services these charities are able to provide in the future.

"That simply means going into this new year we'll have to be really diligent in how we spend," said Hartley.

Local and national charities are banking on a burst of year-end donations. Their hope is people will find it in their hearts to give, regardless.

The Salvation Army is accepting donations online. Taxpayers have until midnight to receive credit for 2018 taxes.