What the CARES Act Does for Your Giving

Last week, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became law. Among its many pages are several provisions that could change your charitable giving. There are many resources enumerating these changes, including this from Independent Sector.

Here’s our brief outline of the new provisions, and how they might help your charitable dollars go farther:
  • Give a tax-deductible cash gift: if you are among the 90% of taxpayers who no longer itemize, the CARES act created a charitable income tax deduction of up to $300 ($600 for a couple filing jointly). Your gift can provide immediate support for the causes you care most about. Please note that this deduction does not apply to gifts to a Donor Advised Fund.  
  • Deduct charitable cash gifts up to 100% of your AGI: If you still are still able to itemize, the CARES Act suspends the AGI limitation for cash contributions for 2020. Again, this does not apply to gifts of appreciated assets or to a Donor Advised Fund.  
  • Join the many people who include a charitable legacy in their will, trust or estate plan: You can make a gift to our community’s future without paying anything today. It’s an easy way to protect the people and causes you care about the most. You can add a charitable beneficiary to your IRA, life insurance, and other accounts using an online form, or you can set up a virtual appointment with your attorney to safely review your estate plans.  
  • Reconsider your RMD: The Act waived Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020, allowing IRA owners to keep funds in their IRAs and other qualified retirement plans. For some, it still might make sense for you to make direct distributions to charity from your IRA.
 These are just a few considerations for how you might consider a charitable response to the changing environment we’re navigating. Your professional advisor is always the best resource for tax and estate plans – and many are offering phone and digital consultations.
Now, more than ever, our community needs each of us to lean in. Your generosity can help save lives today and improve them for years to come.

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