CARES Act—Take Advantage Now to Help Your Favorite Charities

The CARES Act has been a topic of much discussion over the last month. Passed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a number of provisions intended to help America face the economic uncertainty created by the crisis.

And while there is ongoing discussion in Congress about some of the provisions of the CARES Act that have expired or will expire soon, it is worth remembering that the CARES Act included a number of provisions that do not expire until the end of 2020, including many incentives that provide benefits for those looking to make charitable gifts during this time to support non-profit organizations, including The ALS Association.

“We are seeing many folks take advantage of the CARES Act and stepping up to support the ALS community with a financial gift,” says Jessica Chapman, Senior Director, Individual Giving, for The ALS Association National Office. “No matter your income level, the CARES Act benefits anyone who wants to help, and we are grateful for the support because ALS doesn’t stop and neither will we.”

“This is a time when so many are unsure of the economy, yet many still want to help their favorite charities. The CARES ACT provides tax benefits for individuals and corporations dedicated to helping their communities during a time of great need,” Chapman adds.

For many individuals or families who don’t itemize deductions on their taxes, the benefit that is most readily available is the ability to deduct charitable contributions up to $300 from your 2020 taxes. This allows you to bring down your taxable income by $300.

For those who do itemize, there are benefits as well. For 2020 taxes, the adjusted gross income (AGI) charitable deduction cap has been waived, allowing those who itemize to deduct contributions up to 100 percent of their AGI. And any unused contribution deductions on your 2020 taxes can be carried forward up to five years.

ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter Board Member Mark Calmes found this provision would allow him to make pledged donations sooner, at benefit to both himself and the Chapter.

“I consulted my financial advisors and accountant to ensure the donations made financial sense for me at this time and to also ensure the resultant tax benefits would be maximized,” says Calmes. “After modeling different donation scenarios, my advisors determined I could financially afford to pay my remaining pledged donations forward in 2020. They also determined meaningful tax benefits could occur from doing that.”

The CARES Act also includes provisions for some businesses to deduct a higher amount of their charitable contributions than normal. More information about these provisions of the CARES Act and how they might benefit you can be found here.

It is possible that new legislation may provide more opportunities to enhance your charitable giving to your benefit. As always, you should consult with a professional financial advisor to determine what is best for your personal situation. If we can be of any assistance as you craft your own giving plan that benefits you and your family, please contact Katie McGovern at kmcgovern@alsastl.org or 314-432-7257, ext. 222.

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