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delta_05
Returning Member

Can I amend 2017 itemized return to add charitable donations made in 2018?

Thanks to the new tax law, which we were unaware of until we started our itemized return for 2018, about $3K in charitable donations we made last year are nullified.  We have a lot of stuff around the house that we don't need.  So, to take advantage of the triple-win incentive of giving good stuff to those in need while simplifying our living space and getting a tax break to boot, we've been donating several $K in household items, books, clothes and toys to local charities.  We also make monetary donations to a few non-profits. We've been doing this for the last several years and it's been very mutually beneficial for everyone, accept Uncle Sam.  With the 2018 deductions cap, about 75% of what we gave in 2018 will have no effect on our Federal obligation. If possible, we'd like to file an amendment to claim some or most of the ineffective donations from 2018 on our 2017 itemized return.  As it stands now, we owe a little over $2K.  If we can break even or at least bring that down by half, that would be fantastic.  Thank you.




1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
MichaelMc
New Member

Can I amend 2017 itemized return to add charitable donations made in 2018?

Unfortunately, no. Individuals are cash basis taxpayers. You are only taxed on income in the year it is paid, or made available, to you. In similar fashion, you can only deduct expenses that have actually been paid in the tax year.

For in-kind contributions of clothing, furniture, and household goods, this means that the items must actually be transferred into the possession of the charity before December 31.

With respect to cash contributions, it is worth noting that an expense is considered paid in a tax year if you charged the item to a credit card or paid the expense with borrowed funds, even if the credit card balance or loan balance had not been paid by year-end. This may be useful with some contributions made at or near year-end.



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1 Reply
MichaelMc
New Member

Can I amend 2017 itemized return to add charitable donations made in 2018?

Unfortunately, no. Individuals are cash basis taxpayers. You are only taxed on income in the year it is paid, or made available, to you. In similar fashion, you can only deduct expenses that have actually been paid in the tax year.

For in-kind contributions of clothing, furniture, and household goods, this means that the items must actually be transferred into the possession of the charity before December 31.

With respect to cash contributions, it is worth noting that an expense is considered paid in a tax year if you charged the item to a credit card or paid the expense with borrowed funds, even if the credit card balance or loan balance had not been paid by year-end. This may be useful with some contributions made at or near year-end.



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