ECFA's Five Recommendations to Congress on Stimulus Legislation

Updated on July 22, 2020

ECFA recommends that Congress immediately address the following issues in its next COVID-19 bill:

  1. Increase the $300 above-the-line charitable deduction and make the provision permanent.  The existing cap is too low and, in many cases, will simply capture giving that donors had already planned. A higher cap will stimulate additional giving by encouraging donors to make larger donations to more charitable organizations.  y making n expanded above-the-line charitable deduction available to all Americans, charities would experience an overall increase in giving.

  1. Extend the temporary suspension of adjusted gross income (AGI) limitations and also extend the temporary universal charitable deduction beyond 2020. Continuing these important incentives would encourage all Americans to give more as communities work through the effects of the pandemic and address continued needs.

  2. Authorize 100% reimbursement of unemployment compensation paid by self-funded nonprofits.  The CARES Act provides a 50% reimbursement of these costs to self-funded nonprofits (nonprofits are reimbursed by states with funding from the federal government). A full 100% reimbursement would be a significantly more helpful benefit to nonprofits.

  3. Extend time for claiming 2019 charitable contributions.  To ensure charities receive immediate relief, Congress should allow all taxpayers making donations between March 13 (day of national emergency declaration) and July 15, 2020, to claim those gifts on their 2019 tax filings.  This should be applicable to itemized and above-the-line deductions.

  4. Allow deductibility of gifts to donor-advised funds under temporary suspension of the AGI provision.  Further aid would be provided to charities by allowing donors to deduct gifts to donor-advised funds under the temporary suspension of the cash AGI limitation provision.

Keep up-to-date on COVID-19 resources by accessing ECFA’s special webpage:

Nearly 10,000 individuals connected live or received the recording of ECFA’s three outstanding webinars:

  • The Cares Act—Key Impacts on Churches and Nonprofits with Michael Batts, CPA, and Frank Sommerville, JD, CPA. Link here.

  • Navigating Critical Legal Issues in the COVID-19 Crisis with Attorneys Stuart Lark, John Wylie and other Sherman & Howard attorneys. Link here.

  • PPP Loan Forgiveness Updates: Cutting Through the Confusion with Michael Batts, CPA. Link here.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.