If you’re not sure how your finances match up with your year-end giving strategy, 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 as 2019 comes to a close.
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 offering donations to. The organization you’re involved with should 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 deductions 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. Staying up to date on newsletters, annual reports and CEO updates can be an important factor when it comes to understanding the operations of various organizations. It’s important to set personal reminders annually to re-evaluate your financial and personal priorities and update them if necessary.
We hope you found this helpful. As your year comes to a close, we wish you a joyful holiday and prosperous new year.
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.