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CARES Act Charitable Deductions for 2020 Can Help Further the Work You Care About – An additional gift to Jesuits West in 2020 will strengthen the Province and provide you with new tax benefits

Thank you for supporting Jesuits West and the work of our more than 75 Jesuit sponsored and endorsed works in the 10 western states.

As you may know, on March 27, 2020 Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Included in the legislation are several important provisions aimed at helping non-profits, like Jesuits West, sustain their work while also benefitting generous donors like you.

The inclusion of an expanded charitable giving incentive is a critical acknowledgement by Congress that the work of non-profits like Jesuits West are essential services. Perhaps more than ever, our vulnerable communities will need the spiritual, educational, and social works that Jesuits have delivered for almost 500 years. It is the first time Congress has passed this type of giving incentive in response to disaster or national emergency. 

Increased Deduction Ceilings for those Who Itemize. If you itemize your taxes, great news! The CARES Act allows you to claim charitable deductions up to 100% of your adjusted gross income in 2020. This is up from 60% of your adjusted gross income previously. Again, gifts must be made directly to a qualified non-profit, like Jesuits West, and cannot be made to a donor-advised fund, supporting organization or private foundation. The new 100% deductibility has no sunset provision right now, so this could continue past 2020, and if you need to carry-over deductions, you could do so for 5 years. This new provision also benefits corporations, who may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%. Please talk with your accountant for more details.

New Charitable Deductions for people who take the standard deduction. If you take the standard deduction on your taxes, any cash gift you make directly to Jesuits West, or any other qualifying non-profit in 2020 (and possibly beyond) may allow you to take up to a $300 above-the-line deduction on your taxes to be paid in 2021. The deduction is up to $600 for married couples. This above-the-line adjustment to your income will reduce your adjusted gross income (AGI), and thereby will also reduce your taxable income. This deduction applies only to cash gifts made directly to non-profits. Gifts to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, or private foundations do not qualify for this deduction. Stock gifts also do not qualify for this deduction. Please talk with your accountant for details.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from IRA’s Waived in 2020. RMD for individuals over age 70 ½ are suspended until 2021. This includes distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans. The RMD is an attractive way for donors to make a significant charitable gift directly from their IRA to Jesuits West, or another qualified non-profit, through a qualified charitable contribution (QCD) while avoiding taxable income. Though the RMD is waived for 2020, donors can still make a gift from their IRA as the tax benefit of the QCD remains. 




The takeaway – donors directing a QCD to a non-profit this year (up to $100,000 per individual) will still reduce their taxable IRA balance. This allows all taxpayers, itemizers and non-itemizers alike, to direct gifts from their IRA to non-profits in a tax efficient manner. 

Jesuits West recommends consulting a tax professional or your financial advisor to determine what options work best for your unique situation.

Information on CARES Act

We are the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded in 1540 by the soldier-turned-priest St. Ignatius of Loyola. Most people call us “the Jesuits.” In the vision of our founder, we seek to “find God in all things.” We dedicate ourselves to the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. We do so gratefully, in collaboration with others who share our values, including laypersons, who have become part of the “we,” the extended Jesuit family.
With close to 17,000 priests and brothers worldwide, the Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. We are pastors, teachers, and chaplains. We are also doctors, lawyers, and astronomers, among many other roles in Church and society. In our varied ministries, we care for the whole person: body, mind, and soul. And especially in our education ministries, we seek to nurture “men and women for others.” Jesuits draw on the rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and reflection. In our retreat centersparishes, campus ministries, and other settings, we offer these resources to all who want to discern God’s presence in their lives. At the same time, we also aim to be “contemplatives in action,” people who bring this spirituality into the everyday world. This includes our work on behalf of social justice, peace, and dialogue.

Four Vows

As members of a religious order, Jesuits take three vows — of poverty, chastity, and obedience — and a fourth vow of obedience specifically in regard to worldwide mission. In other words, Jesuits must be ready to accept whatever mission the Pope requires, a vow that is reflective of our broader dedication to the universal Church, and to the greater good of all people from all faiths and cultures.

Our collaboration with the laity flows from our personal relationships with Christ. We see ourselves as companions of Jesus, and we invite others to join with us, as friends in the Lord. Together we build up the body of Christ.

With our friends and partners, we also reach out to a broadly diverse world because that is where we find God. From experience and reflection, we know that meaning, value, and divine purpose can be discovered “in all things.”

Our Work

Throughout the west, Jesuits serve as teachers, campus ministers, and administrators at universities, high schools, and Nativity middle schools. We also serve as parish ministers, chaplains, and spiritual directors. In all our ministries and work, we strive to keep alive the tradition and prayerful discernment established by St. Ignatius and do all things for the greater glory of God.

We are Diverse, Dynamic, Creative We bring together people from many cultures to worship and work in partnership. The service area of Jesuits West encompasses Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. In addition, our priests and brothers and our partners serve in ministries throughout the United States and abroad, including Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Our ministries include:
  • Pastoral ministries. Jesuit priests lead 15 parishes and provide service to many more.
  • Spirituality and retreat centers. Jesuits and laypersons at the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Seattle, Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, Calif., and The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos seek to foster spiritual growth by offering retreats as well as training for spiritual directors.
  • Educational ministries. Jesuits and their many lay partners are involved in primary, secondary, and higher education. Model school programs such as Cristo Rey and Nativity as well as other creative partnerships allow us to sponsor, co-sponsor, or endorse new Catholic schools in underserved areas.
  • Social ministries. Our Jesuits provide guidance to various ministries – Homeboy IndustriesJesuit Volunteer Corps NorthwestPICO National NetworkProyecto Pastoral – are just a sampling of our ministries engaged in empowering people, pursuing social justice, and improving communities. Jesuit priests lead 12 parishes and provide service to many more.

We Encourage Collaboration

In pastoral, educational, and other ministries, our priests and brothers collaborate with laymen and women, civic organizations, local dioceses, and other religious orders. As catalysts for change, we invest personnel and funding in those “turning points” in society where we believe the greatest good can be achieved. Our ministries express the power of faith doing justice, by combining belief in fundamental human dignity with advocacy for the poor and marginalized.

We Strive to Achieve Our Goals

We have adopted four main apostolic goals which continue to guide us:

  • Fostering partnership in our Ignatian mission
  • Strengthening solidarity with the poor
  • Responding to the diversity of our Province
  • Evangelizing contemporary culture.

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