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Tax relief act enhances charitable deductions

3 p.m., Oct. 14, 2005--On Sept. 23, 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005. For “qualifying contributions” made in cash to public charities beginning on Aug. 28, 2005, and ending on Dec. 31, 2005, this bill temporarily suspends the 50 percent limitation applied to charitable deductions in any tax year. (Charitable deductions for cash gifts to public charities are limited, under current tax law, to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s “contribution base”--roughly the donor’s adjusted gross income in the year of contribution).

The Katrina bill also provides a temporary exception to the provision under current tax law that reduces deductions for qualified charitable contributions by 3 percent of the amount by which the donor’s adjusted gross income exceeds stated dollar amounts.

The temporary provisions of the Katrina bill (as applied to gifts made by individuals) are not limited to contributions made to public charities whose mission is directly related to providing hurricane disaster relief.

It is particularly important to discuss any gift contemplated in response to the Katrina Act with professional advisers to verify that the results would be favorable in light of an individual’s overall tax and financial circumstances.

For more information, contact Paula M. Armstrong, Esq., director of planned giving at UD, at (302) 831-2104 or at [parmstro@udel.edu].

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