New tax code leads to increase in charitable donations

With the newly signed tax code going into effect in 2018, many are rushing to get those charitable deductions in now, so they can claim it on their taxes this year.

Posted: Dec 28, 2017 10:41 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2017 10:48 PM

Charities and nonprofits call this the “Giving Season.” It’s the time of year when most people make their last minute donation to their favorite charities.

With the newly signed tax code going into effect in 2018, a lot of people are rushing to get those charitable deductions in now, so they can claim it on their taxes before the new law takes effect.

Salvation Army donations

Huntsville Salvation Army staff said the end of year is always busy, but this year they’re seeing a surge in last minute donations.

“We have a lot of people that come in and say we would like to get this donation in before the end of the year so we can get the tax deduction,” Kevin Free with the Salvation Army Thrift Store said.

They’ve had 20 people working 10 hours a day since Christmas to try and keep up with the influx. He said they received more than 300 donations on Thursday alone.

“We’ve done five times as many donations today than we would do in a normal day,” Free said. “The only thing I’m concerned about is will we have enough storage by the end of Saturday afternoon.”

The Huntsville Salvation Army isn’t the only nonprofit seeing an uptick this year.

“We’re seeing actually a lot of donors who realize that their tax deductions may be more beneficial to them in 2017 then in 2018 and so a lot of our donors are accelerating they’re giving,” Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, VP of Operations, Melissa Thompson said.

Thanks to the increase in standard deductibles in the new tax code, some believe fewer people will itemize and that means fewer charitable gifts, since you can only deduct donations if you itemize.

“While some charities might see a little bit of a hit because of the changes in the tax laws we still believe that our community will rally around the causes that really work to improve the quality of life,” Thompson said.

The last day of the year to give is Sunday, but most nonprofits will be closed on that day, so in order for your contributions to count for 2017, you’ll need to drop off or have it postmarked by Saturday.

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