This time of year people are thinking about charities and year-end donations. Even events like recent hurricanes prompt people to consider how they can give. This is one item on our year-end tax planning checklist. Be sure to download your copy! (This article has been updated since its original post date)
Let’s talk through the number of options you have.
How to make Charitable Donations & Contributions
Cash: Give cash directly to the charity you wish
Check: Write a check to the charity
ACH: Have the funds pulled directly from your bank account
Credit Card: For a recurring payment
Stock: Stock with large gains can be good for donating so you do not have to recognize the gain
RMDs or QCD: If you don’t need your RMD you can donate that money up to $100,000 per year
These are typically things you donate to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. With these items be sure to keep a receipt. If you’re donating things that are worth over $5,000 you need to get an appraisal. This is required by the IRS. For example, you may be remodeling your kitchen and giving away all the cabinets or appliances to Habitat For Humanity.
Donor Advised Fund:
Another strategy that can allow you to give cash or stocks when you don’t know which charitable organization you want to give to can be using a Donor Advised Fund or Charitable Trust. You donate or contribute money into this account. The gift is irrevocable meaning that it can’t be undone. In the year you make the contributions you get the tax deduction. Then when you decide to make gifts to one or more organizations over time you can do so. The funds can be invested so it can be growing year by year too.
When would a Donor Advised Fund make sense to use?
- If you don’t know which organizations you want to give to, but still want to get the tax deduction in this year.
- If you have a high income year. Whether you have a large bonus or extra earned income.
Download our year-end tax planning checklist. If charitable donations & contributions are important to you this may be a great option. We’re happy to help you set this up!
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