This was a known error that has been corrected. But it is still showing up on your return. Follow the first steps 1-7. If it is still not corrected, the do the workaround steps 1-10.
- Click Deductions and Credits
- Select Review/Edit
- Click Edit to the right of Standard Deduction Click OK, Sounds Good
- Click Wrap Up Tax Breaks
- Click Continue
- Make sure that $300 is filled in and then click Continue
- Click Lets Keep Going
If there is still a problem, then do this workaround:
Here is the work around for claiming the $300 Charity Deduction:
- In TurboTax select Federal in the panel on the left
- Select Deductions & Credits at the top of the page
- Under Your Tax Breaks - Charitable Donations
- Click START to the right of Donations to Charity in 2020
- Click YES
- Click ADD next to Money
- Type in the name of the charity that you donated to
- Type the amount of the donation
- Select Done with Donation
- Select Done
Now the $300 will appear on Line 10B and in the Charitable Contributions screen
I solved this with the help of some great TurboTax reps over the phone. The problem was this--and I would characterize it as an oversight in the TurboTax code: even though I was taking the standard deduction and TurboTax had not taken me through screens related to itemized charitable deductions, in the background it had automatically carried forward my list of charities from the prior year. Having those blank entries in the invisible background was causing this mysterious error. By going in and manually deleting those entries, it eliminated this error related to this year's $300 cash charitable donation credit for non-itemizers.
If you are in TurboTax Online, the screen Charitable Cash Contributions under CARES Act appears as the end of Deductions & Credits. First you have to pass the screen Based on what you told us, the standard deduction is best for you at the end of Deductions & Credits.
But you have to qualify for the standard deduction before the screen appears. So you may want to change the value of one or more itemized deductions to $1 so that you qualify for the standard deduction.
Follow these steps:
- At the top of the screen, click on Deductions & Credits.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Wrap up tax breaks.
- Continue through several screens.
- At the screen Based on what you told us, the standard deduction is best for you, click Continue.
- At the screen Any Charitable Cash Contributions? remove the dollar amount.
- Continue through Federal Review to make sure that things look correct.
Then restore your itemized deductions dollar amounts.
See also this TurboTax Help.
How the CARES act changes deducting charitable contributions made in 2020
Previously, charitable contributions could only be deducted if taxpayers itemized their deductions.
However, taxpayers who don't itemize deductions may take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations. For the purposes of this deduction, qualifying organizations are those that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose. The law changed in this area due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Keep in mind, it is very important to keep records of your charitable contributions. If the IRS asks about them later, they will be denied if you don't have a record, receipt, letter, etc.