Does year-end giving really make a difference anymore?

Does year-end giving really make a difference anymore?  Jeff in Middleton, WI

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Does year-end giving really make a difference anymore?

A difference to you –

Charitable Giving – Year-end giving is always pushed for two reasons in my opinion. One, because giving is in the air with the Christmas season and two, in order to receive an additional tax deduction. So, if you are asking does it make a difference for your financial and tax situation, that depends.

In order for the tax receipt for donations to benefit you come tax time, you need to itemize. With the New tax reform to take effect this year, the standard deduction has doubled, which means fewer people will itemize deduction. Unless their itemized deductions are over $12,000 for a single person or $24,000 for couples, it won’t make sense.

So, if your itemized deductions (including your charitable giving) is over the standard deduction, it does make a difference for you at tax time. How big a difference will depend on your overall situation.

Gifting to family – The tax-free amount you can gift to family is currently $15,000. There are no deductions for gifting, however, sometimes appreciated assets could be gifted to lower or reduce capital gains tax. This would apply if those you are gifting to are in a lower tax bracket. Consult with a professional to see if that applies to you.

A difference to who you give to –

While charitable giving may or may not make a difference to your overall financial situation and gifting will not benefit you at tax time, they both can make a big difference for those receiving the gift.

Charitable organizations depend greatly on donations. Some may receive grants or other income, but many are solely donation run. Charitable organizations are really the heartbeat of our communities. Without charitable organizations, many people would not receive the care and support that they need or the opportunities and education to succeed in life.

Yet, while charities serve the community, they really need the community to support them. Your donations make a big difference in the lives of those impacted by the charities you support! There has been some fear that raising the standard deduction will mean fewer people itemize and with fewer people itemizing, the fear is that fewer people will give to charities. I believe the benefit of giving goes way beyond a tax deduction! The impact you make in a person’s life is priceless… and yes, your gifts make a difference whenever you give them!

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Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process.
Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyond.

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