Taking advantage of CARES Act tax benefits for year-end giving

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed on March 27, 2020 to help taxpayers, businesses, and nonprofits in the wake of the pandemic and economic downturn. While the provisions of the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of this year, there may still be time to take advantage of the benefits.

What Donors Need to Know

Individual giving

  • Itemizing The adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for cash contributions was increased for individual donors. For cash contributions made in 2020, donors can now elect to deduct up to 100 percent of your AGI (increased from 60 percent).
  • Not itemizing The CARES Act allows for an additional “above-the-line” deduction for charitable gifts of up to $300 made in cash. If individuals are not itemizing on their 2020 taxes, they can claim this new deduction.
  • DAF giving These new incentives apply only to cash contributions to public charities and do not apply to contributions to supporting organizations or public charities that sponsor donor-advised funds.
  • IRA giving The Required Minimum Distribution is waived for IRA and other qualified retirement plan owners for 2020. For donors who still wish to use IRA funds to make a qualified charitable distribution, it is still available up to $100,000 for individuals who are older than 70½.


- Excerpt from Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University December Philanthropy Matters Newsletter

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