News & Articles

How the Current Tax Law Affects Charitable Giving from IRAs

Posted on Mon, Mar 04, 2019

For charitable donors, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provided some tax breaks and took away others. Here's what charity-minded individuals need to know.

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Tags: IRA Distributions, Charitable Giving, Charitable Donations, Charitable Contributions, IRA

Save on Taxes While Doing Good

Posted on Wed, Jun 28, 2017

If you own assets that have appreciated significantly over the years, you may be able to profit more by giving them away than by selling them.

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Tags: Charitable Giving, Charitable Donations, Charitable Contributions, Trusts, Beneficiary Designations

7 Tax-Savvy Ways to Give to Charity

Posted on Wed, Aug 03, 2016

Charitable giving is on the rise. And the momentum is expected to continue, given the natural disasters and human tragedies that have happened in recent months.

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Tags: Charitable Donations, Charitable Contributions, Volunteer

Are You Ready to Play the Charitable Giving Game?

Posted on Sun, Oct 19, 2014

Are you looking for a way to lower your 2014 tax bill? Qualified charitable contributions may help lower taxable income -- and, as an added bonus, allow you to support worthwhile causes. Approximately 40 percent of charitable giving occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, according to the not-for-profit watchdog Charity Navigator. So now is a good time to review giving trends and the IRS substantiation requirements.

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Tags: EHTC Article, Charitable Donations, Newsletter, Articles, Charitable Contributions, Taxes

A Cautionary Tale about Charitable Donations

Posted on Fri, Aug 22, 2014

If you want to support a favorite charity -- and collect hefty tax deductions -- consider giving away appreciated assets that you've owned for more than a year. You'll avoid capital gains tax and get a tax deduction for your generosity.

If you're giving away a substantial amount, you need to choose your charity and make your donation carefully.

For example, let's say you want to give $10,000 worth of stock or mutual fund shares. You purchased the shares a few years ago for $4,000. You get a deduction for the fair market value of $10,000 and you avoid the long-term capital gains tax. The charity can sell the shares for $10,000 and also not owe any tax. If you held the shares and sold them, they'd be worth only $9,100 to you after paying the 15 percent tax on the $6,000 long-term gain.

But many taxpayers don't know that all charities aren't created equal. Make sure you donate appreciated assets to "50 percent charities," which include religious groups, schools, hospitals, and public charities. There are also "30 percent charities," such as veterans' organizations, domestic fraternal societies and some private foundations.

Although the IRS calls them 50 percent charities, you can deduct only as much as 30 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in the year of the gift when you contribute appreciated securities. If your AGI is $100,000 and you give $40,000 in stock to your alma mater, you can only deduct $30,000. The remaining $10,000 must be carried forward to another year.

If you donate cash to these charities, however, you can deduct as much as 50 percent of your AGI. With a 30 percent charity, you can give as much as 30 percent of your AGI in cash, but only 20 percent in appreciated assets. If you want to make a large donation, give away appreciated securities but keep it to 20 percent of your AGI. Don't give away any other stock gifts in the same year to avoid confusion.

The Bottom Line: Keep it Simple

  • Give modest cash gifts to 30 percent charities.

  • Save your appreciated stock gifts for 50 percent charities, and keep them to no more than 30 percent of your AGI in any one tax year.

You don't have to worry about all these rules if you're simply writing a $25 check. But the rules are complicated when making very large charitable contributions. To be sure you're on sound footing, check with your tax professional.

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Tags: EHTC Article, Charitable Donations, Newsletter, Articles, Charitable Contributions, Appreciated Assets, Long-Term Capital Gains

Who Are the Latest IRS Targets? A List of 22 Audit Triggers

Posted on Thu, Aug 07, 2014

What triggers an IRS tax audit? While the IRS isn't about to publish a list, there are a number of items that are known to raise the IRS's interest in a return.

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Tags: EHTC Article, IRS Audits, Gambling, Foreign Bank Accounts, Deductions, Home Office, IRS, Alimony, Newsletter, Articles, Charitable Contributions, IRS Tax Audit, Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses, Taxes, Unreported Income, Losses

Food for Thought When Making Year-End Charitable Contributions

Posted on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

'Tis the season for charitable gift giving. Studies show that the average charity receives about 40% of its annual contributions between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. This article provides tips to ensure your contributions are tax deductible in 2013 and that they will actually go to a legitimate charity, not a scam.

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Tags: Bogus Charities, Not-for-Profit, CPA Firm, Echelbarger, Charitable Contributions, Tax Deductible, Scam Charities, EHTC