charitable contribution money

Spring ushers in so many great things: baseball season, blooming flowers, and baby animals. But, it also brings tax season (which can be a metaphorical rain cloud or rainbow depending on your personal situation). The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed at the end of 2017, ushered in many federal changes that affect both estate planning and charitable giving. I’ve blogged about many of the provisions that can impact your estate planning (and why you should definitely review any existing estate plan), but what about some of the aspects of the new tax law that impact charitable giving? Because we’re not all tax attorneys or CPAs, let’s take this piece by piece and first explore the charitable deduction limitation increase for cash gifts and how it differs under federal and state law.

Differences Between Federal and State Tax Laws

While federal law has made several modifications, Iowa has not conformed to most of the recent changes to the charitable contribution deduction for state tax purposes. Quite obviously, this can cause confusion when strategically calculating planned giving.

Under federal tax law, the charitable deduction limitation, specifically for cash contributions to certain public charities and private foundations, has increased from 50% to 60% of an individual’s adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year.

This increase does not apply for Iowa tax purposes, however. If an individual’s federal deduction for cash contributions to qualifying public charities and public foundations exceeds 50% of the taxpayer’s AGI for the year, the individual must recalculate the charitable deduction to apply the 50% limitation for Iowa purposes.

If this is still a bit confusing, fear not. We can work out a plan so that you can meet your charitable giving goals in a tax-beneficial way for the tax years moving forward. I offer a free, no-obligation consult, so don’t hesitate to contact me.