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Frazierje
New Member

Prior year charitable donations

My wife and I file joint married every year and we always itemize our deductions versus taking the standard deduction.   We are preparing our 2020 Tax Return and we realized that we have never taken a deduction for the charitable contributions that we have made to the "Food for the Hungry."  These payments have been made via monthly credit card payments and we have written receipts for each year.  Our question is whether we can claim the donations that we made in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in our 2020 tax return... given that we never previously itemized these donations that were made.  Thank you!

3 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Prior year charitable donations

No.    You cannot claim past year charitable donations on your 2020 return.   You can only claim the donations made in 2020 on your 2020 return.    If you think it will make a difference you can amend the returns for as far back as 2017.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Frazierje
New Member

Prior year charitable donations

That makes sense.  Thank you.

 

Do you know whether TurboTax allows me to do prior year amendments to see if it's worth pursuing?  I've been using TurboTax every year for many years,  but I doubt that I've saved the software versions for those prior years.

Opus 17
Level 15

Prior year charitable donations

You can’t even do a practice return without having the software installed. Each year‘s version of TurboTax is a separate stand-alone program. If you purchased them as downloads, you may be able to download them again from the vendor where you purchased them. If you purchased them on CD, and you uninstalled the program and threw away the CD, you will probably have to buy the program again if you want to amend.  

As a rough guide, if you are married filing joint return with your spouse, and your taxable income after subtracting all of your other deductions was less than about $75,000, then adding additional charity donations you would return you about 12%-15% of the value of the donation. If your taxable income after subtracting all other deductions was more than $75,000, adding additional donations would return about  22% to 25% of the amount of the donation.  In other words, if you forgot to list a $100 donation, your additional refund if you filed an amended return would probably be between $12 and $25, depending on your income and the year.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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