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5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Gifts to Charity

No matter the size of the charitable donation, we all want to be sure it does the most good for the charity receiving it. Here are five ways to make the most of your gifts to charity:

1. Give non-cash gifts. By giving a non-cash gift like stock, you benefit as well by avoiding capital gains tax. By gifting stock that has appreciated in value to a charity, you receive the maximum donation and avoid paying any taxes on the long-term capital gains. The charity has no tax liability since they are a non-profit organization. If you donate clothing or household items to charity, be sure you keep a list of the items you donated and their thrift shop fair market value so you can document your donations properly on your personal tax return.

2. Be selective. Make your charitable donations more meaningful by giving more to fewer organizations. If you need help making your choices, consult Charity Navigator, which has objective ratings on thousands of non-profits.

3. Consider a donor-advised fund. A donor-advised fund (DAF) is like a charitable giving savings account. You make contributions as often as you want and then give grants to your favorite non-profits when you are ready. Every time you make a contribution, you immediately receive the maximum tax deduction allowed by the IRS -- even if you delay the grant request until next year. You can make multiple grant requests to as many non-profits as you wish.

4. Time your gift. A majority of donations are made at the end of every year, but non-profits need donations all year long. To make a bigger impact, consider making your gifts at non-traditional times, which helps your favorite charity with their cash flow when they need it most.

5. Stack your deductions. Thanks to the new tax law, married couples now have a $24,000 standard deduction ($12,000 for singles). If you are close to that threshold, consider doubling or tripling your donations for one tax year. If you do, you can itemize your deductions for that year, then take the standard deduction the next year.

The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, focuses on estate planning and asset protection for Florida residents. If you need assistance with planning for your family’s future, contact our Fort Myers estate planning law firm for your free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning
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The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169