Wondering if you’re best prepared for the upcoming giving season?
In the blink of an eye, the holidays have arrived and in order to minimize stress and maximize your giving, it’s important to keep in mind a few details that you may or may not be aware of.
If you’re not sure how your finances match up with your upcoming year-end giving strategy, now is the time to prepare yourself by making your lists and checking them twice. Organization is key in order to properly give this holiday season. Here are five tips to maximize your giving this year.
1. Do Your Research
By using sites such as Guidestar or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, you can learn more about the groups you’re interested in offering donations to.
The organization you’re involved with should also be able to provide registration information including 501(c)(3). You may also use the tax-exempt organization search tool available on the IRS website to obtain specific information as well.
2. Bundle Your Donations
As deductions have increased over the years, you may choose to save money over time and donate every few years as opposed to each year. By doing this, you may be able to exceed the standard deduction and itemize instead.
One tool to consider using to accomplish this is a donor-advised fund, which allows you to make a large(r) charitable donation and immediately receive a deduction for the full amount. You’ll then be able to make recommended grants from the fund to your preferred charities over time.
3. Donate Appreciated Stock
By donating stocks or other appreciated assets, such as artwork or antiques, you can avoid paying capital gains tax on investments.1
In particular, high-income earners might consider a non-cash donation specifically because of the tax advantages they may be awarded. Even those who have what they might consider to be small holdings could benefit by making a donation of appreciated investments this holiday season.
4. Utilize Your IRA
If you’re a retiree over the age of 70, you might consider transferring money from your IRA to a qualifying charity. These distributions can be a tax-efficient way of meeting any required minimum distribution. Additionally, there’s no need to itemize your deductions in order to benefit.
According to the National Association of Enrolled Agents, you may distribute up to $100,000 per year per taxpayer. This increases to $200,000 for married couples if they both have IRAs.2 Although this strategy has existed for some time, it only recently became a part of the permanent tax code.
5. Monitor and Evaluate Your Portfolio and Plan
No matter the size of your seasonal contributions, it’s always important to keep up with your portfolio in order to give properly and confidently. It’s also important to set personal reminders, at least annually, to re-evaluate your financial and personal priorities, and update them as circumstances in your life change. Your interests and priorities are bound to evolve over time and so will the causes you choose to support.
If you're interested in exploring ways to optimize your charitable giving, please call our office or contact us here to schedule a time to discuss further. We'd love to help.
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This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.