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CARES Act: Tax Benefits to Support Charitable Giving

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. There are a few changes from the CARES Act that may affect you and your charitable goals in tax year 2020.

The MSU-Northern 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.

New Tax Initiatives

The CARES Act expands charitable giving incentives to taxpayers. Those who claim a standard deduction may now deduct up to $300 in charitable cash contributions to qualified charities like the MSU-Northern Foundation. $300 is a generous gift that would have a tremendous impact on our greatest needs, such as the Sports Complex, the Montana Access Scholarship, and the Excellence Fund.

For taxpayers who do itemize their deductions, the new law allows for cash contributions to qualified charities like the MSU-Northern Foundation to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the 2020 calendar year. Any contributions above your total AGI may be carried forward for up to five years.

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

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 MSUN.

You pay no income taxes on the gift. The transfer directly from your financial institution to MSU-Northern Foundation generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions. Please see our IRA Charitable Rollover page for more details.

Thank you for supporting the students of MSU-Northern through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact Amanda Meyer at to discuss your gift.