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The Gift of Giving

As we close out the year, this is a time that many are thinking about charitable giving. This year we have spent some time talking with many of you about beneficial ways to give to charity. With the changes that took place in the tax code in recent years many individuals lost the ability to itemize their deductions and with that they lost the tax benefit of charitable giving. While charitable giving is about more than just the deduction we receive on our tax return, there are still ways to make the most of your giving from a tax perspective.

One of the primary topics we discuss when it comes to gifts to charity is the gifting of appreciated securities. This option has multiple benefits to you as a taxpayer. When you donate an appreciated security, you are removing the assets from your portfolio and will not have to report any capital gains that would come with selling the security. When the charity receives the security, they are receiving it at its fair market value to use as they see fit. For your tax reporting you are also getting the benefit of a deduction at the fair market value price of the security when donated if you have held the security for more than one year. This means, no tax on the gain, increased deduction at fair market value, overall benefit for the charity to continue their mission.

Some additional items to consider when gifting securities is the amount you want to contribute and who would you like to contribute to. Many times, individuals are looking to support multiple organizations over time, while also looking to minimize taxes in a given year where they see their income growing. In this case the option of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) supports both goals. When establishing a DAF, the individual can donate larger amounts of appreciated securities for a tax deduction and then make donations over time to support the various organizations they are passionate about with contributions made from the DAF. While the tax deduction can be taken in the year the appreciated securities are moved to the DAF, the donations to charitable organizations can be spread out over multiple years allowing individuals more flexibility.

Another gifting option for those that have reached retirement is making Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD’s) from an IRA. When gifting won’t be beneficial as an itemized deduction, QCD’s are a great option. Amounts given as QCD’s help satisfy an individuals required minimum distribution (RMD) and are also not reportable as income. When it is unlikely that your gift to charity will allow you to benefit from itemizing your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, the QCD allows you the benefit of decreased taxable income instead.

As we close out 2021 and look to what 2022 has to bring, if charitable contributions are something you are considering as part of your overall financial future and legacy, please allow us to help you achieve those goals. Reach out to our Private Wealth team for more information.