Elk NetworkHow Taxes and Elk Country Go Hand-in-Hand

Conservation | March 12, 2021

Yes, taxes and elk country can go hand-in-hand. Lowering your tax burden can increase habitat for elk and other wildlife and open public access for us to enjoy. This two-way street can lead to more opportunities to view wildlife and explore more trails to hike.

By shifting the payment of taxes directly from Uncle Sam and letting the government decide where to direct money to public programs according to its wants/needs, you are instead allowed to choose what you would like to directly support, and feel is a better priority for you and your family. This action offsets the burden of government and you get to pick what the aid will promptly and efficiently support.

Tax season is just finishing up from 2020. Some of us may have turned out alright and others may be wishing they saw a little better result. While this is still fresh in our minds, let’s go over a couple of items to consider and potentially utilize during next year.

In 2021, there are two tax changes that can boost a donor’s tax deductions for charitable giving, creating incentives to encourage taxpayers to donate to worthy causes such as elk and elk country. This means donors can give more to charity at a lower net cost.


For those who do not itemize deductions:

Generally, you can only take a tax deduction for charitable giving if you itemize your tax deductions. The first change is an above-the-line tax deduction for gifts of cash to charities such as RMEF of up to $300 for individuals and up to $600 for married couples. You can also qualify for this if making a donation with a credit card or writing a check.

This is important because when the standard deduction was increased back in 2017, it resulted in fewer people itemizing deductions, including gifts to charity. The above-the-line deduction now allows those who do not itemize take a charitable deduction too.

And the fact that it’s an above-the-line deduction can also help because it reduces your adjusted gross income (AGI). Remember, deductions lower your taxable income based on your income tax bracket. That means that the higher the tax bracket, the greater the savings.


For those who do itemize deductions:

The second change is a charitable provision helping those who do itemize their deductions. It changes the percent of AGI limits for cash charitable deductions. For individuals, the 60 percent AGI limitation is suspended and users can deduct 100 percent of their AGI.

This provision excludes contributions to donor-advised funds (DAF). If a donor exhausts his or her 60 percent limit with cash contributions to their DAFs, they could make additional donations outside their DAF and reach the 100 percent limit.

At the end of the day, your donations help us do more for elk and wildlife, brilliant landscapes and our passion for the outdoors. The tax incentives noted above make this a win-win situation for all involved.

Please remember RMEF does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is for information purposes only. Save this article and consult with your own advisors.