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CARES Act Tax Update

A couple of key provisions of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act may impact your giving this year. Here are three takeaways you need to know. 

  1. An expansion of the universal charitable deduction for cash gifts
    The universal charitable deduction has not only been extended but given a well-deserved upgrade. The new deduction is $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filing jointly. This is available to taxpayers who take the standard deduction. This tax incentive is available for cash gifts to qualified charities (but not to supporting organizations or donor advised funds).
  2. An extension of the cap on deductions for cash contributions
    Contributions to public charities are generally limited to a percentage of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). The CARES Act lifted the cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, increasing it from 60% to 100% of AGI for 2020 (and now for 2021). Any excess contributions available can be carried over to the next five years. (For corporations, the law raised the annual limit from 10% to 25% of taxable income.)
  3. The return of the required minimum distribution (RMD)
    After being suspended in 2020, the required minimum distribution is back in 2021. That means those who are 72 or older must take distributions from their IRA each year. If you do not need that income for daily expenses, consider using yours to make a tax-free gift to support AFSC.

We Can Help!

Contact Alyssa Chatten at GiftPlanning@afsc.org or 888-588-2372 to learn more about the renewed and expanded tax incentives for 2021.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the American Friends Service Committee a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

I devise and bequeath to the American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (tax ID #23-1352010) (Insert amount of gift or insert the word "all" or the percentage of the estate) to be used for its general purposes.

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to AFSC or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to AFSC as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to AFSC as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and AFSC where you agree to make a gift to AFSC and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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