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Important Information Regarding Gift Planning
As we get closer to the end of the year, we want to make gift planning easier for you or your business. We asked our expert gift planner, David Saviola, what some of the frequently asked questions he gets when it comes to making decisions to give!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is so special about giving this year?
In 2020, the stimulus bills passed by Congress were in part meant to increase charitable giving. In a normal year, you can only deduct up to 50% of your income; however, this year you can take up to 100% of your income as a deduction. This is a big deal and can really be a beneficial planning tool. For example, a retiree that has a good nest egg of tax-deferred dollars (like IRAs) might be able to access those dollars in a very tax-favorable way and increase their giving at the same time.
I don’t give enough to itemize my deductions, so what’s the benefit to me?
More good news for 2020! This year you can claim a tax credit of up to $300 regardless if you itemize your deductions or not. Generally, credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill, so this is extra money in your pocket at tax time. Another way to look at it is you can give $600 and the IRS will kick in half!
What if I don’t have a lot of cash on hand (or want to hold on to it for now), what can I do?
There are special advantages to alternative gifts like stock or real estate to name a few. Assets like these that have appreciated have capital gains taxes associated with them, but by giving them to charity the donor receives the FULL market value as a deduction, and the capital gains tax also disappears. It’s like a double bonus, and there aren’t many of these in the tax code!
What if I want to give more, but I also want to leave my kids an inheritance?
Great, because not all giving is irrevocable! Certain charitable trusts allow you to give cash or other assets for a period of time, and then at the end of that period, they revert back to you, or your heirs. During the period they are “given,” income from these assets goes to charity. Another bonus of this strategy, the donor gets ALL the tax benefits upfront.
I own some investment properties, can I use them in any way for a donation?
Probably! Gifts of real estate often generate large upfront tax deductions but can also turn into a lifetime income stream. There is a chance you can give stuff away to charity and receive an income from that same gift for life!
What are other alternative gifts that I can donate?
A lot of the big donation items are covered in the above questions, but in general, just about anything that is an asset with value can be a gift! A car, a boat, land, a gun collection, mineral rights, timeshares (these can be a bit tricky), or I have even facilitated a herd of cattle gift once! The list is almost never-ending. If you have questions on what can be donated, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.