Eighty-two percent of Americans who itemized charitable deductions on their 2017 tax returns plan to maintain or increase their giving this year, according to a survey released this week by Fidelity Charitable.
The poll also found that 58% of donors still planned to itemize in 2018, even though doing so may not be appropriate to their situations. This suggests many donors may not have fully worked out how the increased standard deduction in the revised tax code affects them, Fidelity Charitable said.
For example, half of households with incomes of less than $100,000 currently plan to itemize their 2018 taxes, the survey showed. Fidelity Charitable said most of these donors will likely discover that their itemizations, including charitable donations, will not push the total deduction amount past the new standard deduction thresholds of $12,000 and $24,000.
The poll also showed that charitably inclined Americans are unaware of strategies to manage deductions, such as “bunching” — grouping multiple years of deductions into a single year in order to surpass the standard deduction.
Only 30% of itemizers in the survey said they had heard of bunching, also known as stacking. This means that the vast majority of previous itemizers could miss out on ways to maximize their tax savings, according to Fidelity Charitable.