Yes, there really is no limit to charity, as long as you have receipts to prove your donations. Donations could be a few dollars, a few thousands of dollars even millions (not that you can deduct that in one year). However, you can deduct that with your receipts kept with your 2016 records for a minimum of 3 years.
Your donations may or may not make any difference in your tax refund or tax due, unless you have enough other itemized deductions to exceed your standard deduction. Charitable donations do not count "dollar for dollar."
Many taxpayers have been surprised because their itemized deductions are not having the same effect as they did on past tax returns. The new higher standard deduction and the elimination of certain deductions, as well as the cap on state and local taxes have had a major impact since the new tax laws went into effect beginning with 2018 returns.
Your itemized deductions have to be more than your standard deduction before you will see a change in your tax owed or tax refund. The deductions you enter do not necessarily count “dollar for dollar;” many of them are subject to meeting tough thresholds—medical expenses, for example, must meet a threshold that is pretty hard to reach. The software program uses all the IRS rules that apply to the expenses you enter, and it tells you if you have enough to use your itemized deductions or if using the standard deduction is more advantageous for you. Under the new tax laws, some deductions have been capped—there is a $10,000 limit to the itemized deductions for state, local, property and sales taxes.
Your standard deduction lowers your taxable income. It is not a refund.
2019 Standard Deduction Amounts
Single $12,200 (+ $1650 65 or older)
Married Filing Separate $12,200 (+ $1300 if 65 or older)
Married Filing Jointly $24,400 (+ $1300 for each spouse 65 or older)
Head of Household $18,350 (+ $1650 for 65 or older)
(Also + $1650 if legally blind)
A donor who claims a charitable deduction of $5,000 or more for a single item or for multiple similar items of personal property must obtain a qualified appraisal of the item’s or group of items’ combined value.
You should always get a receipt for donation any time you donate items to a charity. Donations made to a single charity on a single day are limited to a value of $500 without an appraisal. You MUST get a receipt. Individual items donate in drop boxes where you cannot receive a donation should be much lower so that you don't draw attention to the fact that you are making large donations without a receipt. I personally make donations to several charities throughout the year and have never had a problem with the IRS.
Using ItsDeductible throughout the year is the easiest way to keep up with your donations. I print out the list of donated items with their estimated value and staple it to the receipt I received from the charity.
I have receipts. It doesn't break down my items but it shows the date I donated. Where do you get an appraisal? How do you get one without the items? I have everything accounted for on the Itsdeductible site as well.