Q: My son made lots of charitable contributions last year, but he usually uses only the standard deduction. Is it true that he can deduct charity deductions only if he itemizes on Schedule A? O.D., New York, N.Y.
A: That's correct. Currently, "nonitemizers" can't earn any tax benefits for making donations to qualified charitable organizations. The Bush administration has proposed legislation that would allow nonitemizers to take a deduction for charitable donations (up to a certain amount). Nothing's been passed yet. For more details on charitable contributions—including the type of contributions you can and can't deduct—obtain a copy of IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf.
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