In times of crisis, we all benefit by supporting those who can make the most difference. COVID-19 impacts us all, regardless of age or economic status, and the SWFL Stronger Together fund will benefit us all. It will help provide critical resources, equipment and supplies to support medical teams. It will assist our hardworking healthcare professionals as they fight the pandemic. This fund is designed to enhance and support performance on the front lines! 

In addition to the financial stimulus support for individuals and businesses, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed on March 27, 2020, also has important provisions for people wishing to make charitable gifts to support Lee Health and other nonprofits. 

We are grateful that Congress has passed charitable gifting tax benefits in response to this global pandemic, recognizing the critical essential services provided by many nonprofits, especially hospitals 

Individual Taxpayers 

For the first timetaxpayers who do not itemize their tax deductions are eligible for a reduction in taxable income for charitable gifts made in 2020By donating up to $300 per taxpayer or $600 for a married couple to nonprofits now, taxpayers are given a charitable deduction above and beyond the standard deduction on their 2021 filing. The new deduction is designed to encourage the more than 90% of taxpayers who take the standard deduction to support charities with cash gifts in 2020. 

For taxpayers who itemize, a 100% AGI limit deduction is available in 2020 for cash gifts to public charities. Deductions for cash donations were previously limited to 60% of the taxpayer’s AGIThe change allows taxpayers to reduce their income tax by making large charitable cash contributions 

Donors may also sell depreciated stock, make cash gift from the sale and deduct up to 100% of AGI. Even if a taxpayer recognizes capital gain from the sale of their stock, a cash gift of the sale proceeds could eliminate taxation of any ordinary income, leaving only capital gains to be taxed. 

Corporate Taxpayers 

In additioncorporations can deduct up to 25% of taxable income for cash contributions made to qualified charitable organizations during 2020. Deductions for cash donations were previously limited to 10% of the corporate taxpayer’s taxable income.  

Retirees 

For retirees, the CARES Act suspends required minimum distributions (RMD) for retirement plans for 2020, recognizing that current account balances are generally much lower due to the drop in markets in the wake of the pandemic 

Those who use some or all their RMD from an IRA to make contributions to a charityas a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) can continue to do so. The amount of the QCD will be excluded from income as in past years.  

Making a QCD this year for retirees age 70½ or older will still allow itemizers and non-itemizers alike to direct up to $100,000 from their IRA to charities like Lee Health Foundation in a tax efficient manner. The gift is not taxed, and since it doesn’t count as income, the gift can reduce annual income level, which may help lower Medicare premiums and decrease the amount of Social Security that is subject to tax. 

Of course, there are restrictions to the deduction benefits for 2021 income tax filingThe increased deductions will not be automatic and must be elected when filing. Donors should consult their tax advisors for the best deductions for their situation. To see the complete text of the CARES Act, click here.  How the CARES Act Helps Donors Support Frontline Health Care Providers in Southwest Florida 

How to Help 

Lee Health medical teams include critical health care professionals who are working diligently to support the community’s health. All the while, these doctors, nurses and therapists are facing the same uncertainties and lifestyle disruptions that we all have. You can say thank you, lend a helping hand with your donation and potentially receive tax benefits. 

What you can do: 

  • One-time Gift
    Make a one-time gift online here, by calling 239-343-6950 or by mailing a check payable to Lee Health Foundation to : 9800 South HealthPark Drive, Suite 405 Fort Myers, FL 33908.  or by mailing a check payable to: Lee Health Foundation to 9800 South HealthPark Drive, Suite 405 Fort Myers, FL 33908.  
  • Recurring Gift
    Make a long-range impact with recurring automatic donations that you can cancel at any time. 
  • Share with Our Community
    Show your support and encourage others to donate by sharing LeeHealthFoundation.org and using the hashtag #LeeHealthStrong. 

To speak with a Lee Health Foundation representative, please call (239) 343–6950.