Special 2020 Tax Benefits for Giving Now
The CARES Act passed this year to address some of the impacts coronavirus was having on Americans and the economy. One of the provisions in the Act was a significant change to charitable donations – for 2020 only.
Prior to the Act, charitable donations could be deducted up to 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI). However, in order to encourage those who can give more to actually do so this year, when charitable donations are more important than ever, but are also down overall due to the coronavirus' impact on the economy, the federal government increased the deductibility limit to 100% of AGI.
What does this mean? If you are in a position to give generously, you can take advantage of the higher limits on charitable donations this year, reducing your federal income tax to zero, if you so choose.
A couple of important notes:
- Many people utilize Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). Donations to (or deposits into) these accounts may NOT exceed 60% of AGI in 2020. This did not change. Only amounts given directly to charities (501( c)(3) entities) qualify for deductions exceeding 60% of AGI.
- Check with the state you live in to determine the deductibility of donations in excess of 60% of AGI for state income tax purposes. Each state may determine its own allowed level of deductible giving. This may or may not matter to you.
- As in previous years, any charitable donations over the allowable limit (100% in 2020) can be carried forward and used in future years.