Update CARES Act

How the CARES Act impacts charitable giving in 2020

On March 27, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus package. The CARES Act includes charitable giving incentives, which are outlined below.

New Deduction Available: Up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in annual charitable contributions. This is available only to people who take the standard deduction (for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions). It is an “above the line” adjustment to income that will reduce a donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), and thereby reduce taxable income. A donation to a donor advised fund (DAF) does not qualify for this new deduction. 

New Charitable Deduction Limits: As part of the bill, individuals and corporations that itemize can deduct much greater amounts of their contributions. Individuals can elect to deduct donations up to 100% of their 2020 AGI (up from 60% previously). Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%. The new deduction is for gifts that go to a public charity, such as Adolescent Consultation Services.

Required Minimum Distributions Waived in 2020 for Most Donors: Required minimum distributions (RMD) that would have had to start in 2020 do not have to start until 2021, including distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans. This change will dampen somewhat the incentive for a donor to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from their IRA in 2020. Even so, making a QCD this year will still allow itemizers and non-itemizers alike to direct up to $100,000 from their IRA to charities in a tax-efficient manner.