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Expand chart
Data: Nonprofit Quarterly; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

One huge change this year is in the tax code. The Trump tax cuts increased the standard deduction and therefore make it less likely that you'll be able to deduct your charitable donations. Only about 11% of households are likely to itemize their taxes this year, down from 26.4% last year.

The big picture: The tax break for charitable contributions has always been a tax break only for the minority of Americans who itemize. Households earning more than $1 million per year nearly always itemize. They accounted for 30% of itemized charitable donations in 2015; expect that number to rise even further.

  • Among normal households, the tax change is not well-understood. With the economy remaining robust, more than 80% of Americans are likely to give at least as much as they did last year. Then, when it comes time to itemize their 2018 taxes, millions of them are likely to discover that they will receive no tax benefit for doing so.
  • One way to get the benefit is to front-load two or three years' worth of donations into 2018, to push yourself above the new, higher standard deduction. This is called "bunching," but so far there's not a lot of evidence that it's happening.

Be smart: The charitable tax deduction never made much sense from a public-policy perspective. Now it's smaller, which is good. But it's also more targeted to the very rich, which isn't.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.