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Charitable giving under the new tax law

Many people believe that charitable giving is just giving money to charitable causes and counting the deduction on your tax return. That’s no longer the case with changes in tax laws and increased standard deductions. Below are several ways to financially support you favorite charity and causes.

One example is to donate appreciated stock or mutual funds (as long as they have increased in value since you’ve owned them). If you itemize, you would deduct the full market value of the gift when you donate, instead of what you originally paid. You also don’t have to pay any capital gains taxes on the appreciation of the stocks/mutual funds. Neither does that charity!

There are other more advanced strategies for your larger donations to provide income during your retirement. One such option is a “charitable remainder annuity trust, which is where you set aside money in a trust for the charity of your choice. Every year, for up to 20 years you’ll receive a minimum of 5% of the original amount.

A another similar strategy is a “charitable remainder unitrust” or CRUT. The difference being the amount you receive each year is based on the annually-recalculated actual value instead of the original donation value. If your CRUT is managed well and grows, so does your annual income.

In both charitable trust situations, the assets that remain in the trust at the end of the term, or after your passing, are then gifted to the charity.

Finally, there’s the “charitable inheritance.” A charitable inheritance begins with parents donating to a donor-advised fund that invests the assets to grow until the fund is distributed. In these instances, the children are actually the designated advisors to the charitable fund and can choose where they believe the assets would be the most beneficial. It would be up to the parents to instill the desires and the values intended for this charitable inheritance. Some folks liken this strategy to a very low cost private foundation. The tax benefits of this strategy are all front loaded anytime gifts are made.

If you’re interested in philanthropy that can do more than you previously thought possible, contact us at Total Wealth Planning for guidance!

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