Under the new federal tax law the standard deduction rises to $24,000 for couples vs. $12,700 previously. Many people won't reach that threshold using itemized deductions ("Schedule A"). Instead of paying for charitable contributions out of your regular bank account, it might be better to pay out from your IRA. There is no tax on the IRA withdrawal. And the payments count toward your RMD ("required minimum withdrawal"). If you take the money out of your IRA first, and then write the check, you receive no deduction and have to pay income tax on the amount removed. Pay directly from the IRA, there is no tax. If your itemized deductions are over $24,000, use Schedule A ,of course. (I obtained this advice from my accountant in a year end review.)
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.