a hand holding a pen in front of a heart illustration filled with words including "charity," "work," "giving," and "life."

Ask Your Financial Advisor: Deductions for Charitable Donations During the Pandemic

Charities have been busier than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March as millions of people lost their jobs and went on unemployment. Food banks, utilities help, rent and mortgage assistance, and other similar non-profits are dispensing everyday aid to needy citizens. 

You may have been led to donate to charities, both local and national, to help others who have fallen into serious financial straits. *** So, if you are able to give during this pandemic, there are some deductions for charitable organizations that you need to know during this time:

  1. Required Minimum Retirement Distributions Waived in 2020: For 2020, the IRS has waived mandatory distributions from retirement accounts such as IRAs. This waiver was allowed for IRA account holders to have time to recover what may have been lost during the year. You may be planning to donate retirement assets to charity, too. The minimum age for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a non-profit is still 70½. The $100,000 annual limit has not changed. There is still time to increase donations to charitable organizations and offsetting an IRA withdrawal with a deduction.
  2. Non-itemizers have a new $300 Charitable Deduction: Taxpayers who do not itemize deductions can now deduct up to $300 single filing or $600 for a married couple. The CARES Act was amended so that donors to charities could give a little more cash gifts which are above the standard deduction.
  3. 100% of Adjusted Gross Income Available in 2020 for Cash Gift Deductions: Charitable donors can 100% of their adjusted gross incomes for cash gifts that are made to public charities. This is for 2020 only as, historically, the largest share of income that a donor could deduct was 60%. It is a 40% increase. Just note that this is for 2020 only.
  4. Donations of appreciated securities or other property: These donations do not qualify for the new charitable contribution provisions in the CARES Act as they are not considered Qualified Charitable Contributions. The only exception is for food inventory for C Corporations.
  5. Carryover Contributions: Charitable contribution carryovers from previous years and not for the 2020 tax year are different. Now, the current year contributions are deducted first, then the carryover contributions are subject to the normal ordering rules.
  6. Philanthropic taxpayers with traditional IRA accounts: It may be more advantageous to do a 2020 ROTH IRA conversion. Qualified Charitable Contributions for 2020 may offset 100% of the income recognized on such conversions.

This year has been a difficult year for us all. We will persevere! These tax law changes benefit charitable organizations and donors. As always, before making a significant financial decision, we recommend that you discuss these changes with an experienced financial advisor. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced financial advisors who can help you navigate through the numerous tax changes in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open! We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area. *** For more on the losses charities have sustained, click here.       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.