Changes to the 2018 Publication 526 due to the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019

 

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 included retroactive tax relief for tax year 2018. The Act expanded what is considered a qualified contribution for relief efforts for the 2018 year. The Publication 526 is not being revised at this time. Instead, see the following information below.    

Qualified contributions for relief efforts for 2018 disaster.  If you make a qualified contribution for relief efforts in a qualified disaster area, your deduction for the qualified contribution is limited to 100% of your adjusted gross income minus your deduction for all other contributions.  Generally, a qualified disaster is a major disaster that was declared before February 19, 2020, by the President under section 401 of the Stafford Act and that occurred in 2018 and before December 21, 2019.  

A qualified contribution must meet the following criteria:

  • It is charitable contribution paid in cash or check in 2018.
  • It is paid to an organization under First category of qualified organizations (50% limit organizations) (other than certain private foundations described in section 509(a)(3)).
  • It is payable for relief efforts in a qualified disaster area (including California wildfire relief efforts described below).
  • The taxpayer obtains contemporaneous written acknowledgment (within the meaning of section 170(f)(8)) from the organization that such contribution was used for relief efforts.
  • The taxpayer elected to have this limit apply to such contribution.

Qualified contributions for California wildfire relief efforts. If you make a qualified contribution (one for certain California wildfire relief efforts in 2018), your deduction for the qualified contribution is limited to 100% of your adjusted gross income minus your deduction for all other charitable contributions. 

Worksheet 2. Applying the Deduction Limits.  Line 3 of the worksheet is changed to the following: 

Line 3. Enter cash contributions payable for relief efforts in qualified disaster areas that you elect to treat as qualified contributions. Don’t include this amount on line 4 below.