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CARES Act | Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving

April 28, 2020

A few short months ago our normal daily way of life was interrupted by COVID-19. Since so much uncertainty entered our lives you have continued to humble me with your support of the Rail Passengers Association – your membership renewals and donations continue to ensure our advocacy efforts have a voice during these uncertain times.

Several weeks ago, I shared news of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and its inclusion of funding for passenger trains and transit agencies - $1 billion for Amtrak, $16 billion for urban transit systems and another $4 billion dedicated for rural transit systems. Today, I want to bring to your attention the new tax incentives for charitable giving that were also included in the stimulus plan. Your generosity during the pandemic has been humbling and I wanted to make sure you were aware of these incentives. Below is a quick overview and I encourage each of you to seek advice from a financial professional.

Highlights include:

  • For taxpayers who do not itemize, the bill makes a new deduction available for up to $300 per taxpayer in annual charitable contributions, for tax year 2020. To qualify, you need to make a contribution to a qualified charity, such as the Rail Passengers Association. If you have donated since January 1st, that contribution counts toward the $300 cap.
  • In a normal year, individuals can take a charitable deduction of up to 60 percent of their adjusted gross income. For 2020, cash contributions are fully deductible, there is no limit. For 2020, corporations can deduct up to 25% of taxable income, versus a previous limit of 10%.
  • Required minimum distributions from retirement plans, such as pensions and 457 plans are waived for 2020.

I’m thinking of you and your families, and I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. When you are ready to consider your charitable giving efforts for the remainder of 2020, I hope you will consider the Rail Passengers Association in your plans. For those who have renewed a membership or made donations during this time of crisis, thank you immensely! If you have any questions about recent gifts or future giving considerations, please contact Jonsie Stone via email at [email protected] or by calling (202) 408-8362 x 3207.

From me and mine, stay healthy and be well!


Jim Mathews
President & CEO