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“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
In 2017 Americans collectively gave over $410 billion in charitable donations, which is about 2.1% of GDP!1 Some of our favorite conversations are around charitable giving. Eyes light up, stories flow, and wonderful experiences are shared almost anytime we talk about giving.
There are many ways to donate to charity, we wanted to highlight three easy ways that may help your tax situation along with charitable giving.
Three Ways to Give
The first is “In Kind Donations.” This is where you give, usually in our case, a stock to a qualified charity or church in leu of a cash donation. The charity then sells the stock and applies the proceeds to their charitable goals, and you receive the tax deduction. This strategy works really well when stocks have gone up greatly in value. Instead of selling the stock and paying the capital gains tax you can sidestep the taxes and donate the whole amount to the charity. Since you never realized the capital gains taxes, none are due.
The second is Qualified Charitable Distributions or QCDs. When a person reaches age 72, they are required to start taking distributions from their IRA. These distributions are called Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs and once a person needs to take a RMD they unlock a nice little feature in the tax code. You can take from an IRA and give it directly to a qualified charity or church and it will both be applied as your RMD as well as still giving you the tax deduction. Better yet, since you gave directly you do not realize the income, helping even further on your taxes. Lastly, you are able to give more than your RMD to charity, up to $100,000 a year ($200,000 for a married couple).
Third idea is donating an IRA. Individual Retirement Accounts, IRAs, can not only be inherited by individuals but can be passed directly to a qualified charity. You have the option to name the charity as the beneficiary of your IRA in any percentage you want. Meaning if you want to only leave 10% of the IRA that is entirely possible. There are additional benefits as well, you, nor your heirs, nor your estate will pay income taxes on the donation. Charities are tax exempt organizations so the entire balance can be used for their charitable goals. It is a simple way to leave a lasting legacy.
Highlighting these three ideas hopefully help you see that you have a lot of options. If you have charitable intent and are looking to give, taking advantage of one of these options to both help you and your desired charity.
Feel free to pass this message along to anyone who you think might find it useful!
Garrett G. Smith
Ascend Investment Partners
Paul M. Norman, CFP®
Senior Financial Advisor
Ascend Investment Partners
214 South Main Street
Logan, UT 84321
175 Historic 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
Ascend Investment Partners is not a legal or tax advisor. You should consult with your attorney, accountant and/or estate planner before taking any action.
Ascend Investment Partners did not assist in the preparation of this report, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Ascend Investment Partners or its affiliates. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.