A few notes for the older members of our congregation;  In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020. Several provisions in the CARES Act affect Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs):

• If you are an IRA account holder who is 72 years old or older, you can skip taking your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) in 2020 without penalty.

• If you have already taken your 2020 Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA, you have 60 days from the date the funds left your account to return the funds to the same (or a different) IRA and avoid paying the income tax on the withdrawal.

• The deadline to make a contribution to your IRA for 2019 has been extended by three months to July 15, 2020. Even though you do not have to take your RMD this year, if you are 70½ or older, you can still use your IRA to make a gift directly to a qualified charity, like New Garden, without counting the distribution as income. It is still a tax-efficient way to give to charity.

Other elements of the CARES Act affecting charitable giving:

• Non-itemizers are eligible for a $300 “above-the-line” income adjustment on your 2020 tax return. Even if you take the standard deduction rather than itemizing, you can reduce your adjusted gross income (AGI) by up to $300 ($600 for a married couple) for gifts of cash to public charities. Note that gifts to a donor-advised fund are not eligible.

• For those who itemize, the deduction for cash gifts to charity has been expanded from 60% of AGI to 100%.

As always, we encourage you to consult your financial or tax advisor to discuss your specific circumstances.

Charlie White, Clerk, Finance and Stewardship