- Susan Floyd
Giving to Charity
What are some tax efficient ways to give to my favorite charity when I consider my estate planning?
ATLANTA CHARITABLE GIVING
The Almanac of American Philanthropy reports that “Americans out-donate Britain and Canada two-to-one and nations like Italy and Germany 20-to-one. What's more, more than half of every single income class except those earning less than $25,000 donate to charity.” Americans are great givers!
What are some ways to give to charity?
1. You can make a bequest in your will. A great way to give to your favorite charity is to make a bequest in your will and/or trust. This may include a specific bequest, or if you are concerned about naming a specific amount, you can name a percentage of the value of your estate. That way if the value of your estate goes down, your family and other beneficiaries are still protected. For example, if your estate is valued at $1,000,000, and you leave 1%, the charity of your choice will receive $10,000. If the value of your estate at your death has decreased to $250,000, then your gift to charity also decreases to $2,500.
2. Giving from Retirement Accounts. Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) can be a great way to achieve your tax planning goals and charitable goals. If the IRS requirements are met, the QCD can satisfy the required minimum distribution (RMD) requirements for that year. The QCD amount is not included in the donor’s adjusted gross income, helping to potentially avoid increased taxes on SSI, higher Medicare premiums, and the loss of deductions/exemptions. The QCD provides donors that use the standard deduction a tax break for the contribution.
3. Establishing a Charitable Trust or Foundation. There are many trust vehicles that can fulfill charitable goals while minimizing taxes.