Wondering if you’re best prepared for the upcoming giving season?
Before you know it, the holidays will be here and in order to minimize stress and maximize your gifting abilities, 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. Follow the five tips below to maximize your charitable giving strategy in 2019
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 supporting with your donations.
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 deduction thresholds have increased over the years, you may choose to save money over time and donate every few years as opposed to each year, consecutively. By doing this, you may receive your itemized deductions over the limit one year and take the standard deduction the next.
If you’re interested in accomplishing this, you might consider a donor-advised fund, which allows you to make a charitable donation and immediately receive a tax break. You’ll then receive 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 might reduce 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 an acceptable $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
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. Talking with your advisor to discuss giving strategies can be an important step when it comes to understanding the tax benefits and IRS limitations around giving.
It’s important to set reminders, at least annually, to re-evaluate your financial and personal priorities and update them if need be. Your priorities are bound to change over time and so may the organizations you choose to support. Being aware of these adjustments is key, and maintaining a thankful attitude is part of what makes the holidays "bright."
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.