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As December 31 approaches, taxpayers are organizing their finances to prepare for filing their income taxes.  This year, Congress passed the CARES Act to provide taxpayers economic relief during the pandemic.  This relief may increase your ability to support church and other charitable causes, helping others through this difficult time.

The three key tax-wise strategies for charitable giving include:

  1. Persons over the age of 70 ½ may still use qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) for their charitable giving, despite Congress ‘permanently’ raising the age for RMDs to 72 and suspending RMDs for 2020. For eligible seniors, this is often the most tax-effective way to give.
  2. Donating appreciated stock can save the capital gains tax, allowing donors to reduce the net cost of their giving.
  3. Non-itemizers can take a tax deduction for up to $300 of cash charitable contributions (called an “above the line” deduction) in 2020.

The CARES Act temporarily increased the limit for cash contributions from 60% to 100% of adjusted gross income.

Senior donors eligible to make qualified charitable distributions should be aware that, if using an “IRA Checkbook”, those gifts must be deposited by the charity no later than December 31 in order to count as a current year gift.  Distributions made through your IRA administrator do not have this same requirement.


The Christian Church Foundation is here to help with your questions. Call us at 800-668-8016.  Please also consult with your investment, legal, or tax advisers.