How the COVID-19 CARES Act affects charitable giving

Jennifer Morlan | Apr 14, 2020

During this time of uncertainty, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund would like members to be aware of tax incentives that are included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. To encourage charitable giving in 2020, the CARES Act includes U.S. tax provisions that reward people who donate to charity.

$300 “above the line” charitable contribution deduction in 2020:
If you do not itemize your deductions in 2020, you can still reduce your taxable income by up to $300 for cash donations to any public 501 (c)(3) charities such as the Children’s Fund. A married couple can reduce taxable income by $600 for these contributions. Donations to donor advised funds are not deductible.

Waiving adjusted gross income limit:
For taxpayers who itemize, the 60% percent of adjusted gross income limit that normally applies to cash donations will be waived for 2020 taxes. That means you could conceivably deduct 100% of your adjusted gross income to the Children’s Fund or other public charities. Donations to donor advised funds are not deductible.

In addition, the CARES Act suspends the requirement that seniors take a minimum withdrawal from their IRAs, 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts in 2020.

However, qualified charitable distributions are still a great way for donors 70 ½ or older to make charitable contributions. A “IRA charitable rollover” allows you to contribute up to $100,000 to the Children’s Fund or other another charity from your IRA without paying income tax.

We encourage you to check with your financial or other advisors to see how these temporary rules apply to you.

In any crisis or emergency, people look to churches, food pantries and community-service organizations such as Kiwanis for help. It’s no different with the COVID-19 crisis. When you are ready, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund will be here to help you invest in the life-changing work Kiwanians do around the world. Go to to learn how you can support the Kiwanis mission.


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