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Giving Season Has Arrived! Here’s 5 Ways to Maximize Your Year-End Giving Strategy

Giving Season Has Arrived! Here's 5 Ways to Maximize Your Year-End Giving Strategy
Julianne F. Andrews, MBA, CFP®, AIF®
December 8, 2020

Before you know it, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will be upon us. In order to minimize stress and maximize your gifting abilities, it’s important to keep in mind a few details that you may or may not be aware of when it comes to charitable gifting.

Now is the time to 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 in 2020.

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 also 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 be able to itemize your deductions one year because they are over the standard deduction amount and take the standard deduction the next.

If you’re interested in accomplishing this, you might also consider a donor-advised fund, which allows you to make a charitable donation and immediately receive a tax break. You’ll then be able to make grants from the fund to your preferred charities over time. Remember though that once you have made a contribution to a donor-advised fund, you can not pull it back to use for other purposes. The funds are permanently earmarked for charitable gifting once the contribution has been made.

3. Donate Appreciated Stock
By donating stocks or other appreciated assets, you might reduce capital gains tax on investments.1 Most charities are set up to be able to accept donations of this kind directly into a brokerage account established by the charity.

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 72, 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. Keeping a running list of charities that you would like to contribute to during the year can make yearend tax planning easier to accomplish.

It’s important to set personal reminders, at least annually, to re-evaluate your financial and personal priorities and update them if need be. Your interests and priorities are bound to change over time and so will the causes you choose to support. Being aware of these changes is an important part of maintaining a thoughtful attitude when it comes to charitable gifting and can make the holidays especially meaningful for you and your family.







This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. 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 soase or sale of any security.

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