25 Apr Feel Good About Charitable Giving – And Reduce Your Taxes Along the Way
By Michael J. McCool, CFP®, CIMA®
Financial Advisor, Consolidated Planning Corporation
People donate to charities because they want to give and it makes them feel good. Supporting a cause you believe in is both empowering and fulfilling, and people who make giving a habit experience greater life satisfaction. You have probably come to realize this through your own experience so it won’t surprise you that scientific studies back up these claims as well. The many benefits of being generous are more than enough to encourage anyone to be charitable.
If you can be happier, healthier and save money on taxes, all the better. With that in mind, consider using these strategies to support your favorite charities and minimize your taxes.
Donating Appreciated Securities
This strategy is easy to execute and carries significant benefits. You can deduct the entire value of your donated securities and avoid paying capital gains taxes. At the same time, the charity benefits from the full value of your securities when they are sold because it is a tax-exempt entity.
Qualified Charitable Distribution
A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a direct transfer from your IRA to a qualified charity. If you are at least 70.5 years old, this powerful tax-saving strategy may be right for you. Some of the benefits of a QCD include:
- Lowers your taxable income
- No need to itemize deductions to get benefit
- Can be used to meet your Required Minimum Distributions
Donor Advised Fund
Think of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) as your own private foundation. DAFs are easy to establish with no start-up costs or ongoing expenses. Below are some additional benefits of having a DAF:
- Immediate tax deduction on the total amount contributed
- Appreciated securities are an acceptable contribution
- You decide when and how much to give to charities
- Donations are invested and grow tax free
- No estate taxes or legal fees
- No annual tax reporting requirements
When it comes to taxes, everyone’s situation is different so be sure to consult with your tax advisor to see how these strategies impact you.
Michael McCool is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and Certified Investment Management Analyst® professional. He has 21 years of financial planning and wealth management experience and brings a holistic approach to managing his clients’ finances. Outside of the office, you can find Michael serving on the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Board of Directors and Chairing its Finance and Investment Committee. Michael is also a Legacy Advisor for Atlanta RMHC.