For many donors, deductions have played a significant role in their year-end charitable contributions. However, with recent changes in tax laws, your clients may feel unsure of how to navigate their donations. Given that the 2017 Tax Act doubled the standard deduction, people who used to itemize may be less likely to do so. Reassuring your clients that many of the giving strategies they’re accustomed to will continue to offer them tax benefits and will continue to benefit the organizations close to their heart is always a win/win.
Although your client may know which organizations they want to donate to, they may not have a giving strategy in place. Below are a few strategies to make the most of their donations and deductions.
Selling a stock and giving the proceeds to charity has been a common approach many years. Another option is giving stock directly to the charity before it’s sold. However, when a donor attempts to give the stock directly to a charity, often charities are not equipped to handle these types of gifts.
However, if a client gives the stock to a donor advised fund, they can avoid having to pay capital gains tax, which increases what they can give to charity. It is a simple solution that helps minimize tax liability. By encouraging your client to set up a donor-advised fund, you can simplify the giving process and further the impact of generosity, while eliminating a lot of extra work for the charity.
Because of the new tax laws, many donors won’t have enough itemized deductions to surpass the new standard deduction threshold. Skip-year giving or “bunching” donations into a single year, and then using a donor advised fund to distribute on their regular schedule, has become a trending strategy for donors to combat this issue and surpass the itemization threshold. This offers donors the ability to receive a greater tax deduction while continuing their same level of charitable giving. And encouraging your client to set up a donor-advised fund is an excellent way to maintain their regular yearly giving.
Use this guide on Charitable Bunching to help inform your clients.
Regardless of how much your client donates, tax laws should not prohibit their giving. With creativity and strategic planning, your client can still make the most of their gift to the organizations they support while receiving a solid tax benefit.