Doing good is its own reward. Reaping the tax benefits is a nice perk.
While taxes might not have been at the forefront when providing aid to others, the tax deduction for charitable contributions has typically helped shave money off your tax bill if you itemize instead of taking the standard deduction.
But under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that threshold is tougher to clear. Although the deduction for donations is unchanged, you'll still need to itemize to claim it, and that's a much higher bar with the nearly doubled standard deduction.
"With a higher standard deduction, there will be less people who benefit from donating to charity," said Eric Bronnenkant, a certified financial planner and CPA and the Head of Tax at online financial advisor Betterment.
(Under the legislation, an individual would need total itemized deductions to exceed $12,000, the bill's new standard deduction for individual taxpayers, up from the current $6,350. Married couples would need deductions exceeding $24,000, up from a current $12,700.)
"Without itemized deductions, most people will lose all tax benefits associated with charitable giving," said Kimberly Dula, a partner at the accounting firm Friedman LLP in Marlton, New Jersey.
For charitable donors aren't ready to let go of that tax break, there are still several ways around the new rules.