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Insights for Professional Advisors

January 12, 2021

Congress extends charitable giving incentives 


As your clients reboot after 2020, now is a great time to address their charitable giving plans for 2021. COVID-19 has proven to be a marathon, not a sprint. Nonprofit organizations continue to look to the generosity of donors for the foreseeable future to stay afloat and serve those in need of their programs. 

Consider dropping a quick note to clients for whom philanthropy is a priority, sharing a few tips that can help make 2021 a better year for our community:  

  • Even non-itemizers should plan to make at least $300 in cash contributions to qualifying charities (and now $600 for non-itemizing joint filers) this year. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, known as the Coronavirus Stimulus 2.0 bill, was passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 and signed by former President Trump on December 28. The legislation extends the CARES Act’s temporary, above-the-line charitable deduction for contributions to qualifying public charities for tax year 2021.  

  • The Coronavirus Stimulus 2.0 bill also includes a one-year extension of the CARES Act’s provision increasing charitable deduction limits to 100 percent of AGI for contributions by individuals to qualifying charities. This creates an opportunity to work with your clients on a charitable giving budget for 2021, especially because you’ll want to run calculations to determine whether clients can benefit from this incentive, or whether a client would still be better off carrying forward charitable contribution deductions into future years. We’re always happy to meet with you and/or your clients about charitable giving budgets at your convenience.  

  • Given the extensions included in the Coronavirus Stimulus 2.0 bill, coupled with the general uncertainty about potential tax reforms under the Biden administration, it is wise to counsel your clients about being especially organized about charitable giving in 2021. Clients will want to be even more conscientious about the impact of dollars invested in the community, too.  

As always, we are here to help you help your clients. For example, donor-advised funds and other planning vehicles through Communities Foundation of Texas can help your clients organize their giving and deploy it in a way that maximizes results for the causes your clients care about.  

Just as you serve as a resource to your clients, we're here to serve as a resource to you. CFT’s GiveWisely curriculum is one of our most popular services that empowers givers to discover (or rediscover) core values and think critically about how to give. 

Join us on March 10 and April 20 from 11:30am - 1:00pm for a two-part continuing education series, GiveWisely for Advisors Spring Virtual CFP, CLE, CPE Course.

Learn more and RSVP for this event