The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December of 2020 extended and modified some of the charitable provisions included in the CARES Act of 2020. Please visit our Consolidated Appropriations Act web page for more up-to-date information.

Tax Benefits of the CARES Act that Support Your Charitable Goals

April 20, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is designed to help you, businesses and nonprofits facing economic hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit the Consolidated Appropriations Act page for more up-to-date information on legislation related to charitable provisions and the pandemic.

Here are a few key provisions of the CARES Act that may affect you and your charitable goals in tax year 2020:

New Tax Incentives

  • The CARES Act expands charitable giving incentives, allowing taxpayers who take the standard deduction to claim a deduction for up to $300 in charitable cash contributions to qualified charities. You might think that this is a small amount and would not make a difference. But what if all of our donors gave "just" $300? Such support would have a tremendous impact on the students we serve.
  • For taxpayers who do itemize their deductions, the new law allows for cash contributions to qualified charities like the UM Foundation to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for the 2020 calendar year.
It is important to note that these new tax incentives do not apply to gifts made to donor-advised funds and do not apply to non-cash gifts. Please speak with your professional financial advisor for information specific to your individual situation.

Required Minimum Distributions Suspended

The new law suspends requirements for required minimum distributions, known as RMDs, from qualified retirement plans for the 2020 tax year.

However, giving from your IRA remains a tax-efficient way to support the University of Montana. Despite the RMD suspension, if you are 70½ or older, you can still make a tax-free charitable gift from your IRA or name the University of Montana Foundation as a beneficiary.

Why Giving From Your IRA May Still Be A Good Idea

  • Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference your charitable contribution is making at UM.
  • You pay no income taxes on the gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions.

Your Charitable Goals

Thank you for your support of UM through the UM Foundation, and for helping UM students persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please contact Director of Planned Giving Alison Schultz at to discuss how your gift can make an impact for UM students.

The UM Foundation provides information about the benefits of charitable giving and does not provide legal, financial or tax advice. Please consult with your advisors to determine any tax benefits available to you.