From new tax deductions to IRA rollovers, there are several time-sensitive ways you can support breast cancer research now

The holidays are upon us, and 2020 is coming to a close. For many Americans, December is also giving season—a month to make charitable donations in the spirit of the holidays, to honor loved ones and friends, and take advantage of tax deductions before the year ends.

Between the COVID-19 crisis and changes to charitable deductions because of the 2020 CARES Act, donors have some new rules—and new normals—to navigate this giving season. Here, we highlight six timely gift options and rules to take advantage of by December 31, 2020.

As always, consult with your accountant, tax preparer, or other professional about your individual financial situation.

New tax implications for 2020

If you’re considering a donation to charity before the end of the year, the federal government introduced new incentives, via the CARES Act, to spur more giving in 2020.

In recent years, the IRS only allowed taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions (to reduce taxable income) if they itemized. This year, however, individual filers who do not itemize can now take a one-time, above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for cash/check/credit card gifts to qualifying nonprofit organizations. Donations of stocks, physical goods, and volunteer hours do not qualify for this deduction.

According to the most recent data available, nearly nine in 10 filers opt to skip itemizing and take the standard deduction at tax time, so this special deduction has broad applicability. The IRS has not clarified how this deduction applies to those who file jointly, so talk to a tax professional for guidance.

For taxpayers who itemize, the CARES Act has temporarily suspended charitable contribution limits, meaning that filers who itemize can now deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income for cash gifts to charity in 2020. (Previously, the limit was 60 percent.)

Click here to read more about these new rules on the IRS website. And if you are making a donation to BCRF to take advantage of these new deductions, don’t forget to check if your company will match your gift using our easy online tool.

DAFs, stocks, and other giving vehicles to consider

There are other, non-cash options to consider in your end-of-year giving plans.

If you have a donor-advised fund (DAF), then you’ve already taken advantage of the increasingly popular investment account’s immediate tax benefits. For many nonprofits, the pandemic has completely upended funding, undermining ground gained and putting progress at risk. The coming year will, again, prove to be extremely challenging. Consider giving from your DAF this year—when charities need it most. Click here for information on making a grant to BCRF from your DAF.

Donating appreciated stocks and securities can be cost-effective—and tax-friendly. These gifts may be eligible for a tax deduction based on their fair market value, and they can help taxpayers eliminate or reduce federal capital gains taxes owed.

Donors who meet the minimum age for a required minimum distribution can make qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from their retirement accounts. Through IRA charitable rollovers, for example, donors can direct up to $100,000, tax-free, to qualified nonprofits. Read more about how to make a rollover to BCRF.

RELATED: Other Ways to Give to BCRF

Make a legacy gift

Make 2020 the year you finally check “write a will” off your mental to-do list—or at least get the process started.

By making a charitable bequest to BCRF in your will or living trust, you ensure future funding for breast cancer research. A bequest costs nothing in your lifetime, and it can include a set dollar amount, a percentage of your assets, specific assets, or what’s left of your estate after certain asset dispositions are made.

To make estate planning a little easier, BCRF has partnered with FreeWill, a complimentary online will-writing service. If you have a complicated estate or prefer to finalize your plans with an attorney, FreeWill can also be used to create a set of wishes. Visit FreeWill.com/BCRF to get started on your will.

RELATED: Other Ways to Make a Legacy Gift to BCRF

Why make a charitable donation to breast cancer research

We hope that you will consider BCRF in your charitable donation plans in 2020, if you haven’t already. Breast cancer hasn’t stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic—and neither can we. Since BCRF took up the challenge of ending breast cancer in 1993, deaths have declined by nearly 40 percent. With BCRF support, the field’s brightest minds have transformed the way the world approaches this disease.

As the pandemic wears on, funding for breast cancer research has plunged, with investigators reporting early but pronounced effects on progress. “It could easily cost us the better part of a decade to recover from even a single year’s drop in cancer research funding,” said Dr. Larry Norton, BCRF’s founding scientific director. “This would result in lost lives—lives that could have been saved by uninterrupted progress.”

We can and we must prevent a disastrous pause in progress. Only by saving research today will we save lives tomorrow.

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