As we head inch closer to the holiday season, the thought of giving before year end comes to mind.
There are many reasons why you might consider making charitable gifts each year - and even more worthy organizations to give to. There are also many ways for you to give. The first way people generally think to give is with a cash donation.
However, if you will need to liquidate highly appreciated assets or those with low basis, this could create and/or possibly accelerate capital gains taxes. A large capital gains tax bill coupled with the volatility we've experienced this year, may not be the most efficient way of giving strategy. The good news is that it's possible to coordinate giving with your overall financial plan.
Below are three options that may help you achieve both your tax and charitable objectives:
1. Donate Stock Directly to an Approved Charity
Donating highly appreciated assets to a charity directly may seem like the simplest option. However, not all charities have the capability of disposing of assets, especially complex ones. This strategy is ideal for a donor who only wants to give to a limited number of charities or looking to make a one-time gift.
2. Set Up a Donor-Advised Fund
A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a great way to donate if the goal is to give to multiple charities and continued annual giving comprised of smaller donations. A DAF is an account or fund administered by a third party funded by you that is solely set up for charitable giving. The asset donated is sold and reinvested into positions that are allowed in the fund. Then the donor can make gifts to various charities through grants. Keep in mind that any assets used to fund the DAF cannot be taken back into your personal ownership.
A Charitable Remainder Trust is the most complex and expensive to administer of the three. This type of trust is a long-term strategy to donate appreciated assets and create an income stream for the donor. This is ideal for those with assets that have a low cost basis yet still want to receive income from the asset.
The trust is irrevocable; the donor gives up all control of the asset to in turn receive future income. The trustee of the trust sells the appreciated assets and reinvests the funds. The donor receives income for life. At the donor’s death, the remaining funds go to the charity named in the trust.
For any of these strategies, keep in mind, IRS allows charitable donations up to 30% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for non-cash donations that are held for one year or longer, and up to 60% of your AGI deduction for cash donations. For any charitable deduction left over, you have up to 5 years to use it.
Should you want to incorporate a planned giving strategy going forward, we have a number of ways we can help. Even if you just want to discuss what your options may be, please reach out to your advisor as we would be happy to assist.
Nicole Geraci, CFP®, AWMA®