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Cares Act $300/600 charitable contribution credit for 2020

For 2021, we received the Cares Act Credit, 600 MFJ, for cash contributions to Charity. However we did NOT get that credit in 2020 despite having entered cash donations into Turbo Tax. I understand that this credit should have applied in 2020 as well? I am trying to file an amended 2020 return, but the information is already entered as cash under charitable contributions and it does not update to show the credit. How can we go about getting the credit back for the 2020 tax year? Thank you!

3 Replies
DanaB27
Employee Tax Expert

Cares Act $300/600 charitable contribution credit for 2020

Please be aware this isn't a credit, it reduces your taxable income. If it is listed on line 10b of your 2020 Form 1040 then it reduced your taxable income.

 

Please do not enter the amount under itemized deductions, as charitable donations. 

 

  1. Click "Federal" from the left side of your screen
  2. Click “Deductions &Credits” on the top (do not enter any donations under Charitable donations, if you did delete them)
  3. Scroll all the way down and click the "Wrap up tax breaks" button 
  4. Continue until the "Charitable Cash Contributions under Cares Act" screen
  5. Enter your charitable cash contributions (do not enter more than 600!).

 

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Cares Act $300/600 charitable contribution credit for 2020

Thanks - this was very helpful. I don't have any button that says "wrap up tax breaks" but I was able to see there is $300 on line 10b of my 1040. It has $300, which is not correct as we do MFJ but it will not allow me to make a change there. On the form itself it states max is $300, but it should be $600. 

BillM223
Employee Tax Expert

Cares Act $300/600 charitable contribution credit for 2020

"wrap up tax breaks" appears in only some TurboTax editions (I think it's found in the Online products). 

 

Back on the 2020 software, the charitable cash donation was implemented differently, given that it was a prime example of Congress "moving the goalposts" by making change after change even after tax season has started.

 

The way it worked (for me) in 2020 was that you

1. Added some cash (Money) donations under Charity (Schedule A).

2. When you had finished with your return, you confirm that you are taking the Standard Deduction. (usually, you don't have to actually do anything)

3. Run the Review. In the Review TurboTax will notice that you are using the Standard Deduction but that you also have some cash donations. It will ask you if you want to take this page 1 of the 1040 deduction. Enter your $300.

 

***Note: the limit in 2020 was $300, not $600 as you seem to think.

 

***The thing that was confusing about this in 2020 is that the item wasn't done until you ran through the Review.

 

***Normally, since you are taking the Standard Deduction, you don't have to bother going back and removing the $300 of cash donations - they are not affecting your return anyway.

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