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Charitable Giving During the Holiday Season and Before the New Year

The holiday season is one for giving – and not just giving presents to loved ones, but also giving to those in need and causes close to our hearts. Such giving can help charitable organizations and can also benefit you and your family if done in the right way. If you get your donation in before the end of the year, you might be able to enjoy a tax benefit on your coming tax returns. You can also look at charitable giving as a long-term endeavor and utilize estate planning tools to make your gifts. In either situation, you should carefully consider what type of gift to make to what type of organization, and what the tax implications may be. It never hurts to discuss the subject of charitable giving with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Where Should You Donate?

Some people have organizations they already care about, while others just want to give back to the community in some way. Before you select a charity, you should make sure it is considered to be a qualified charitable organization so you can take a tax deduction. The IRS has a search tool that allows you to identify whether a specific organization can receive tax-deductible donations. 

What Should You Give?

Many people give cash to charities because it can be accomplished quickly without any valuation questions. However, you may also consider the following types of giving:

  • Vehicles
  • Appreciated capital gain property
  • Admission to fundraisers or purchases at charitable auctions
  • Volunteer services (for which you can deduct associated expenses)

The New Tax Plan and Charitable Deductions

In years past, many people have generously given to charitable donations and then taken a generous tax deduction for the gift. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has increased the standard deduction for both single and joint filers. While a higher automatic deduction is not necessarily a negative thing, it does mean that most tax filers – except the wealthiest – will not benefit from itemizing their deductions. This means that they may receive no real tax break from charitable donations. It may benefit some people to “bunch” two years’ worth of donations to exceed the standard deduction this year, and then take the standard deduction next year. However, this should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Estate Planning and Charitable Giving

For people who want to leave a legacy of charitable giving, there are many tools to use to accomplish your goals and have your estate receive potential tax benefits. These include:

  • Gift annuities
  • Gifting appreciated assets
  • Family foundations
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Donor-advised funds

You should discuss your short-term and long-term giving options with a trusted attorney.

ContactOur Utah Estate Planning Lawyers for More InformationAt Craig Dell Attorneys, we hope that everyone has a happy holiday season filled with the spirit of giving. If you would like to discuss your future plans for your finances and family, we’re here to assist you. Contact us online or call 801-783-2515 to start achieving your long-term goals today.

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