Don't itemize? Sorry -- you won't get a tax break Charities tout the fact that donations are often tax deductible. But you need to realize that you can only actually deduct those donations if you itemize deductions as part of your tax return. Image source: Getty Images. Itemizing has becoming increasingly rare because of the tax law changes that took effect at the beginning of 2018. The size of the standard deduction almost doubled compared to 2017, and it increased slightly further in 2019.