With a whirlwind of tax code changes that have come into effect this year, below are some opportunities to consider for your 2018 charitable giving plan. Two of the biggest changes are the elimination of personal exemptions and the increase of the standard deduction. Each year, taxpayers have the option to choose between taking the standard deduction or itemizing expenses. You deduct charitable contributions from your income through an itemized expense report and the standard deduction acts as a hurdle rate. If your itemized deductions fall short of the standard deduction, then you should take the standard deduction.