Considering the many disruptions and complexities of everyday life in 2020, charitable donations and tax strategy might not be top of mind. But some charities need help now more than ever. And recent legislation has changed some of the rules.
Year-end charitable donations are critical for nonprofit organizations
Many charities are seeing greater needs while receiving fewer donations
Recent legislation has changed how charitable donations may affect tax returns
The holidays are a time for giving—a time to reflect on the year’s bounty.
Many people use November to start planning their charitable donations. The year’s end is a great time to consider making philanthropy part of your overall financial plan. The last two months of the year are often referred to as “the giving season,” and it can be a critical time for charities that rely on funding from individuals. Many organizations kick-start their annual donation appeals on Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November.
Laura Franz, executive director of TLS Veterans, an Illinois-based nonprofit organization that helps veterans in need, called the donations received during the months of November and December “a godsend” in terms of people’s generosity. She said the year-end charitable donations often help make up for any shortfalls that weren’t covered by grants or other donations throughout the year.
The shortfall is acute this year considering the impact the coronavirus continues to have on the economy. Many people who lost jobs are turning to food pantries and other charitable organizations to help make ends meet. At the same time, many groups that normally count on in-person donations, from religious organizations to arts groups, saw their revenue streams cut during lockdown restrictions.
In addition to helping alleviate these issues, supporting your favorite causes can potentially reduce your tax burden but changes in the tax code affect how charitable donations are counted for tax purposes. Here’s what you need to know about charitable deductions.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows donors to take off up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) from cash donations to certain charities in 2018 through 2025. (For stock donations, it’s 30% of AGI.) This includes public charities and private foundations other than nonoperating private foundations. Individuals may carry forward (for five years) any qualifying cash contributions that exceed the 60% ceiling for the tax year of the contribution, according to Sax LLP, a tax advisory firm that works closely with Charity Navigator.
Here are a few things to consider:
A donor-advised fund is another potential avenue to consider. People who set up these funds can make significant charitable contributions and receive an immediate tax benefit. Once the money is in a fund, donors can recommend how to distribute it, whether right away or over time. Donor-advised funds are much like a charitable savings account where donors can put cash or appreciated stock and potentially forgo the capital gains when they donate.
TD Ameritrade does not provide tax advice. We suggest you consult with a tax-planning professional with regard to your personal circumstances.
The key to filing taxes is being prepared. TD Ameritrade provides information and resources to help you navigate tax season.
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