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Quick rule-of thumb on charitable deduction limits

The limits on federal income tax charitable deductions are quite high, but they do exist. The specific limitations are complicated, and there are numerous exceptions. The limits are based on your AGI [adjusted gross income], and AGI is an individual’s total gross income minus specific deductions.

A quick rule-of-thumb: you can deduct appreciated capital gains assets [such as stock] up to 20% of AGI; you can deduct non-cash assets [such as real estate] up to 30% of AGI; and you can deduct cash contributions up to 50% of AGI. If you exceed your limits, you may carry the unused amount forward for five years.

Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to promoting and maximizing charitable giving in Iowa. Gordon can be reached by phone at 515-371-6077; by email at; and through his website at

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