Philanthropic Giving and the CARES Act

The U.S. Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which the president has signed into law. The University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation has received numerous inquiries from our donors about the law’s impact on supporting our and other charitable causes, so the Office of Planned Giving has created these notes to help you as you consider the best way and time for your continued financial support of our mission. Thank you very much for caring.

  • The law allows an above-the-line income tax charitable deduction up to $300 ($600 for a married couple) even if you don’t itemize your 2020 income tax return. The break is available to people who claim the standard deduction, which is $12,400 for singles or $24,800 for married-filing jointly in 2020. This provision was inserted specifically to encourage charitable giving this year.

  • The CARES Act impacts owners of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) by providing a temporary waiver of required minimum distributions for 2020, allowing IRA owners age 72 and older to keep funds in their IRAs and other qualified retirement plans. The decreased value of their portfolios may motivate some people to keep funds in their accounts temporarily, waiting to see what happens in the investment markets. You may still make direct distributions to charity from your IRA, just as before, if it makes financial sense for you to do so.

  • For the 2020 tax year only, donors may elect to apply a 100 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) limit to cash gifts to public charities. Gifts to donor-advised funds don’t qualify. This means that in 2020, a donor who deducts 30 percent of AGI in long-term appreciated property gifts and elects the 100 percent of AGI limit for qualified cash contributions will be able to also deduct up to 70 percent of AGI for qualified cash gifts, a total deduction of up to 100 percent of AGI. If this donor uses all available deductions for qualified cash gifts, the donor will pay no federal income tax in 2020.

  • The new law, coupled with the current financial uncertainty, has created an appealing climate for those concerned about their income from investments. Please let me know if you would like to learn more about how you can transfer assets (cash, securities, real estate, etc.) into a secure income stream for yourself and/or others through a charitable gift annuity (not available to residents of the states of Washington or Hawaii).

  • Recent steps taken by the Federal Reserve Bank on federal lending rates have made certain charitable gift strategies more appealing than they have been in some time. Please let me know if you would like to learn more about how you can reduce the size of your taxable estate while planning for a transfer to heirs, all while making a sizable gift to our mission, via a charitable lead trust.
  • If you’re thinking of updating your estate plan, please consider including a gift to the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation (federal ID #31-1678679) to benefit the Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, and the Graduate School.

For additional information, suggested bequest language, or custom gift illustrations, please contact E. John McKee, assistant vice president for planned giving and philanthropy, at 410-706-2069 or UMB Office of Planned Giving: