Five Charitable Giving Strategies that Come with Tax Advantages
Enjoy the Financial Benefits of Your Philanthropic Efforts
Charitable giving tax advantages are probably not the first thing on your mind when you decide to make a philanthropic gift. After all, deciding to give to an organization or cause that you care about is a personal decision reflective of your values, passions, and hopes for the future. Your philanthropy helps those in need, and maybe even satisfies something deep in your soul. However, those are not the only benefits. When you use the right charitable giving strategies, you can also minimize your tax burden. Below, we’ll discuss five such strategies to help you maximize the positive benefits of your giving.
1. Whenever possible, itemize.
In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which almost doubled the standard deduction you’re allowed to take on your taxes due to charitable giving. Now, you can deduct cash gifts you make throughout the year, up to 60% of your adjusted gross income. Despite this increase, or perhaps because of it, less than 10% of taxpayers are itemizing their deductions now. If you’re among the majority failing to itemize your deductions, you may be missing out on some of the advantageous tax benefits that your philanthropy makes possible.
While itemizing your charitable giving can be a smart tax strategy, it’s not necessarily the right move for everyone. To determine if itemizing is right for you, you’ll want to first add up the total of your allowable deductions. This should include deductions such as any mortgage interest and property, state, and local income tax. You’ll then want to consider what the standard deduction for that tax year is. (See 2022 standard deductions here.) If your total amount of deductions are greater than the standard deduction, then itemizing is likely the right move for you.
2. Bunch your gifts.
If you’re committed to giving back on an annual basis, one of the charitable giving tax advantages you may benefit from is bunching your donations. Bunching is when you prefund your charitable gifts into one tax year rather than spreading them out among multiple years. This is typically done by donating appreciated securities or by putting your gifts into a donor-advised fund (more on this below). By doing so, you’re able to make your itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction threshold, and ultimately, minimize your tax bill for the current year.
3. Think “out of the box” with your charitable giving.
While giving cash is great, there are ways that you can give to charities you love outside of simply writing them a check. A great way to give back while also being tax-savvy is to give stocks, bonds, or other appreciated securities directly to the charity. By gifting an appreciated stock directly, rather than selling it for a profit, both you and the charity will be able to avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation. What’s more? You may be eligible to receive a tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the shares you donate. So, you’ll be able to maximize your impact while also enjoying significant tax advantages.
4. Create a donor-advised fund.
Establishing a donor-advised fund (DAF) is another tax-savvy way to give back – and not just where bunching gifts is concerned, as mentioned above. DAFs are personal charitable investment accounts that you can fund with assets such as cash, stocks, or bonds. With a DAF, you get to strategize how you want your gifted (but not yet granted) dollars to be invested, and from there you can recommend when you wish for the money to be given to any qualified charitable organization you choose, on a timetable that works with your financial plans. As your money sits in a DAF, the funds are invested and, therefore, growing tax-free, which may allow you to give even more money to causes you’re passionate about.
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5. Gift your Required Minimum Distribution.
At the age of 72, you’re required to begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your retirement accounts, whether you need the additional income or not. Typically, when this is done, you are then required to pay income tax on these distributions. However, if you gift your distribution to a charity instead, the IRS allows the distribution to remain tax-free. So, if you don’t need your RMD to support your lifestyle, you may want to consider donating some or all of it to a qualified non-profit instead.
Gifting your RMD should be considered as one of your charitable giving strategies when possible because it allows you to accomplish four things: satisfying your RMD requirement, supporting a charity that you care about, avoiding having to pay the taxes that come with your distribution, and mitigating the risk that your distribution may have pushed you into a higher tax bracket.
Are You Maximizing Your Charitable Giving Tax Deductions?
Philanthropy is a meaningful way to enrich lives – both your own and those that are impacted by the charities you choose to support. Giving back not only helps to immediately address critical needs in your local community and across the globe, but it creates ripple effects for the future, too. By giving yourself, you can inspire those around you to take up philanthropy and make a difference, too. While there’s no “one size fits all” charitable giving strategy to accomplish this, there are a plethora of ways that you can choose to give back while also personally benefitting from charitable giving tax advantages.
If seeking to create impact beyond yourself is a priority for you, contact Lane Hipple Wealth Management Group at our Moorestown, NJ office by calling 856-638-1855, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or to schedule a complimentary discovery call, use this link to find a convenient time.
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