With the almost doubling of the standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers who once itemized and were also able to take additional itemized deductions such as charitable contributions may now have to take the standard deduction, but if their tax deductions are right at the max ($12,000 for single taxpayers and $24,000 for those who are married filing jointly), they can make smart moves before the end of the year:
• Donate more to charity to push themselves over the new standard deduction amount and maximize their deductions.
• Use donor-advised funds for charitable donations. An alternative to bunching donations, cleints can set up these funds and recommend how to distribute money from the fund to their favorite charity.
• Bunch their itemized deductions. Watch deductible expenses like medical expenses that are deductible at expenses over 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for 2018. If their medical expenses are getting close to the threshold but not quite there, they can make those doctor visits they’ve been putting off.