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Higher standard deduction need not reduce giving

By Curt Detjen

While much attention has been focused on how the larger standard deduction for tax filers in 2018 will remove an important incentive for charitable giving, there are still some good tax-advantageous options available.

Talk with your financial or legal advisor before proceeding with any of these, and consider:

  • Donor advised fund: You can alternate between doubling up gifts and itemizing in one year and taking the standard deduction the next. This approach allows donors to use the grant money available in their donor advised fund to maintain their charitable giving while maximizing the impact.
  • Appreciated stock: The full market value is available for charitable purposes as the giver doesn’t pay any capital gains tax on donated appreciated stock and the charity is tax-exempt. This also works for real estate or business ownership shares. The Foundation and our Community Real Estate and Personal Property Foundation can help with all these gifts.
  • IRA transfers: The ability of individuals who are at least age 70½ to give directly from an IRA distribution to a charity without counting the amount given as taxable income is a permanent option.
  • Deferred or planned gifts: Charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts, lead trusts and other gifts made after death are all wonderful approaches, but require careful planning.

We understand that people in the Fox Valley region give for reasons other than a tax deduction, yet we applaud their careful planning to maximize their impact. The overriding reason they donate is the desire to give back for the good life we are blessed with here.

The Community Foundation is sponsoring a free educational event for legal and financial advisors on May 15 in Appleton: “Top 5 Trends Every Advisor Should Know in 2018,” presented by Bryan Clontz, President of Charitable Solutions. Go here for more information.

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