Include charitable donations on your holiday gift list

Even amid a global pandemic, holiday bells can be heard. They can also serve as a melodic reminder that there are others in great need this season, perhaps in greater need than ever before. With Wisconsin unemployment payments shamefully delayed, we are seeing more people struggling to house and feed their families. For them, the cheery holiday bells may sound more foreboding.charitable giving for 2020

As a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, individuals or couples who do not itemize their deductions on their Federal tax returns, can donate and deduct up to $300. It is important to note, however, that this deduction is per filed tax return, not per individual; so married couples filing jointly for example can donate up to $300 jointly. The CAREs Act also waived Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020 for those over the age of 72.

Consider making a Qualified Charitable Donation

If you are over 70 ½ and wish to make more than a $300 donation, you may consider making a Qualified Charitable Donation (QCD). A QCD is paid from a taxable IRA directly to a qualified charity. A qualified charity is a non-profit organization that qualified for tax-exempt status.

A gifting strategy that avoids capital gains taxes, is donating appreciated stock or mutual funds that have been held for more than one year in a non-retirement account. Naming a charity on tax-deferred accounts as a beneficiary also serves as a planned giving strategy to consider.

This all gets rather complicated, so it is always advisable to consult with your accountant or financial advisor for the tax implications of your charitable gifting strategies, especially for 2020.

In this time of special need, looking into the available ways of making charitable gifts is particularly important. You may experience some tax advantages while at the same time provide some much needed support to others.

The greater Racine community has many organizations that are working hard to meet the needs of individuals and families year-round. There is no doubt that a $300 tax-deductible donation would be graciously received by organizations that are providing health care, food, shelter, and daily necessities to area citizens.

United Way of Racine offers charitable gift opportunity

One organization that is trying to make a difference during the pandemic is United Way Racine. Through their COVID Relief Fund, United Way of Racine allows local nonprofits to apply for funds, request single-use face masks and request supplies. You can donate at https://www.unitedwayracine.org/COVID-relief

Of course, if you wish to donate directly to other organizations, check to make sure they qualify as tax-exempt at https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search

As you complete your holiday gift list, consider taking advantage of gifting strategies to bring a little cheer to those who may be struggling from negative financial impacts because of COVID.

As seen in the Racine Journal Times | December 6, 2020

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