5 Tax-Savvy Ways to Give Before Year-End

More than ever, Saint Leo University is grateful for your faithful support. In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We wanted you to be aware of certain provisions in the CARES Act that are only available for a limited time and may affect your giving decisions in 2020.

Here are five ideas that are tax-savvy as you may consider a gift this year.

  1. Cash gifts. We are thankful for all donations of cash made by check or credit card. For those who will itemize deductions on their tax return for the calendar year 2020, there is a new limit for the charitable deduction for cash gifts made in 2020. The CARES Act passed earlier this year allows a charitable deduction limit of 100% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for all gifts of cash made prior to December 31, 2020! In 2021, the deduction limit for cash gifts returns to 60% of the AGI limit. So, this is an excellent year to make cash gifts, especially to pay off a pledge or a major gift to support Saint Leo University.
  2. Universal deduction. Even if you do not itemize deductions on your tax return, this is still an excellent year to make a gift! For 2020 only, there is an opportunity for an above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions. This universal deduction is subject to a cap of $300 total for single and married tax filers.
  3. Two tax benefits for gifts of appreciated stock. If you own appreciated stock, you will receive two tax benefits for a gift of stock. First, you will be entitled to an income tax charitable deduction for the value of the stock. Second, you avoid any potential capital gains tax that you would owe if you sold the stock instead. Most gifts of stock are easily accomplished by a transfer of securities from your account to the Saint Leo University account. Please contact Chris Neher at (352) 588-8251 for securities transfer instructions.
  4. IRA charitable rollovers. If you are age 70.5 years and older and own an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you can make a gift from the IRA directly to Saint Leo University and owe no income tax on the withdrawal. You do not receive a charitable deduction for the gift, but the tax avoidance on the withdrawal offers similar tax savings—and is available even if you do not itemize deductions on your tax return! The maximum allowed each year is $100,000 per person, which applies separately to a husband and wife who own separate IRAs. Even though required minimum distributions (RMD) now begin at age 72, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are still available at age 70.5 years. Please contact Chris Neher at (352) 588-8251 for wire or check delivery instructions for making Qualified Charitable Distributions.
  5. Donor-advised fund grants to fulfill pledges. If you have created a donor-advised fund (DAF) with a local community foundation or another third party such as Fidelity or Schwab, you may recommend grants to Saint Leo University. While you receive a deduction for your gift when made to the DAF—and not when the grant is made to Saint Leo University—we will be honored to recognize you for your philanthropy if you wish.

Request more information about legacy giving »

Please consult with your tax, legal, and financial advisors as to how the CARES Act may impact your specific financial situation.


Our team is prepared to speak with you about these provisions and various types of gift structures that might be right for you and your circumstances. Please reach out to Chris Neher at (352) 588-8251 or christopher.neher@saintleo.edu for more information.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.