Charitable Planning Opportunities

 

Charitable Planning Opportunities giving is one way that many people elect to support a specific cause or organization that is close to their heart. From a financial standpoint, charitable giving can be an important part of your estate, tax, and financial planning.

Many small business owners engage in charitable giving, either as private individuals or in their corporate capacity. This charitable giving can take many forms, including sponsorship of local charitable events, donations of excess inventory, and sustained philanthropy in one or more areas through the establishment of a formal foundation or council. Whatever form the charitable giving takes, experts and entrepreneurs agree that such activity can have a beneficial impact on the company as well as the charities and institutions it supports.

 

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What tax strategies can be used for charitable donations.

Many people know they can deduct donations to charity from their income taxes but increasing your knowledge of tax planning strategies can maximize your giving impact. Check out these easy tips.

  1. Long-term appreciated assets—If you donate long-term appreciated assets like bonds, stocks or real estate to charity, you generally don’t have to pay capital gains, and you can take an income tax deduction for the full fair-market value. It can be up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income.

  2. Combine multi-year deductions into one year – Many taxpayers won’t qualify for the necessary deductions to surpass the standard deduction threshold established by tax reform in 2017. However, you can still receive a tax benefit by “bunching” multiple years’ worth of charitable giving in one year to surpass the itemization threshold. In off-years, you take the standard deduction. Use our Charitable Giving Tax Savings Calculator to estimate your savings.

  3. Estate Planning – In your will or as a beneficiary of a qualified insurance policy, retirement plan or trust, you reduce or even eliminate the burden of estate tax for your heirs. Your Giving Account continues to support the charities you love and your legacy lives on. (It is important to consult your tax and estate planning advisors regarding modifications to your estate plans.)

  4. Donor-advised fund – A donor-advised fund is a dedicated account for charitable giving. When you contribute to a charity that sponsors a donor-advised fund program, you are eligible for an immediate tax deduction. You can then recommend grants over time to any IRS-qualified public charity and invest the funds for tax-free growth. Donor-advised funds provide many benefits for organizing and planning giving, but they also offer advantages in terms of income, capital gains and estate taxes. In some cases, these benefits are more advantageous than those from contributing to a private foundation.