Charitable Deduction Preserved
Although many deductions were eliminated in the 2017 tax code revisions, the charitable deduction remains! The “standard deduction” is now $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. That means your allowable mortgage interest (on loans up to $750,000), plus allowable state and local taxes (up to $10,000), plus charitable gifts must exceed those standard deduction levels in order for the charitable contributions to be fully deductible.
Appreciated Securities…Double the Tax Benefit
Donating appreciated stocks, bonds or other securities rather than cash, still provides you with TWO tax benefits: (a) charitable deduction at fair market value on your income tax; and (b) elimination of all capital gains taxes.
Cash Donation Limit Increased
You can now deduct cash gifts in an amount up to 60% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Formerly the limit was 50%.
IRA Rollovers to Charity
If you are 70-1/2 or older and facing a mandatory IRA distribution, you can make tax-free gifts directly from your IRA to your favorite non-profit, in an amount up to $100,000 per year. Those IRA funds would otherwise have income tax due – payable either by you or your heirs.
Lower Federal Tax Brackets
Income tax brackets are generally lower, so you may have more change in your pocket. At a time when the Federal Government is not providing strong environmental leadership, take this opportunity to redirect a portion of your tax savings to a conservation group you believe in through a new or increased contribution even if its not tax deductible.
As always, please consult with your financial planning or tax professional to determine what’s best for your own circumstances.
April 2018 — Dee Mullen, Development Director
Dee Mullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-575-0354 x303