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  • Writer's pictureDanielle M. Locke

Donors Can Give More With These Tax-Deductible Options

It’s the season for email newsletters hitting your inbox with tips for shopping, travel, and tax planning. I get it! With so much information flying around for you and your donors, I recommend that you cut through the noise and mention these three tax strategies to your donors at least twice before December 31st.


CARES Act Charitable Benefits. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act benefits from 2020 were extended into 2021 and are still available for you to utilize.

· Taxpayers can take a special deduction of up to $300 for cash donations made in 2021, even if you don’t itemize on your income tax return.

· Married couples filing jointly, who are not itemizing, are allowed to take a deduction of up to $600 in cash contributions to charity this year. It was limited to $300 last year.

· Individual taxpayers who DO itemize in 2021 can deduct cash charitable contributions of as much as 100% of your adjusted gross income. It was previously 60%.

Donations from IRAs. Unlike in 2020, when older taxpayers were given a tax break, this year if you are age 70 ½ you are required to take a minimum distribution from your qualified retirement account (IRA).

· However, you can donate directly to a charity (like us) from your IRA. Then you will not be required to pay the taxes on that withdrawal amount.

· A qualified charitable distribution allows eligible individuals to donate up to $100,000 per person directly from an individual retirement account to a qualified 501 (c)(3) charity without paying taxes on that distribution.

Donate Appreciated Securities (stocks). Donating appreciated securities from an investment portfolio creates several tax benefits.

· The tax deduction for stock is the same as if it were a straight cash donation if the investment has been owned for a year or more.

· You can also avoid paying capital gains taxes (taxes on the difference between the purchase price and today’s increased value).

Not all options may apply to your specific situation. Discuss charitable tax strategies with your legal, financial, and/or tax advisor. Remember that all gifts must be postmarked or received electronically by December 31st to qualify as a 2021 charitable deduction.

Research tells us that most donors give because they are inspired by the work of your organization. Tax benefits for charitable gifts are kind of like the “cherry on top”. I promote tax benefits to my donors because in my experience these benefits incentivize a donor to give more than they planned to. Yes!

For more actionable advice like this, delivered to your inbox, subscribe to my weekly email. I’ll never spam you; I promise. I’ve been where you are, and I know just how precious your time is. Also, check me out on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn!

Happy New Year my friend!


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