I keep a file folder with tax documents through the year, but this is when I am really checking items off the list as they arrive. W-2s and 1099s are usually the last items I need, but when I do my taxes I sure love to see those charitable gift receipts. TurboTax has a feature that shows your federal tax liability as a running total; as the gifts and other deductible items are entered, the number goes down down down–and hopefully changes color from red (I owe) to green (I am getting a refund).
But, as we begin this year I wonder about the charitable gift deduction for 2014. Will it stay the same as in 2013? Can I make gifts throughout the year with a fair degree of certainty as to the tax benefits of those gifts? A recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy concludes that the charitable deduction is probably safe for 2014. The article points out that a leading proponent of reducing the charitable deduction (Senator Max Baucus, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) will likely be replaced by Senator Ron Wyden, a supporter of the deduction. Other experts chime in supporting the expectation that the deduction will be well protected. The article is short and reassuring; here is a link: http://philanthropy.com/article/Charitable-Deduction-Probably/144065/
However, on the state level several states struggling with budget deficits are looking at limiting charitable tax exemptions; for example, New Hampshire is considering a business tax on certain nonprofits such as hospitals, universities, and other large nonprofit organizations. Hopefully we won’t see any such action here in Nevada.
On another note, with the launch of our new www.nevadafund.org website and review of our branding I thought I would share why we use the Pinyon pine in our logo. In 1998 when the logo was developed, the Board was thinking about what our Foundation would mean to Nevada. A logo was sought that would reflect the key concepts of the Foundation, including permanence, sustenance, community, and flexibility. The Pinyon pine was chosen because it has been an important component to life and culture to the people of western Nevada for more than 2,000 years. The tree starts as a small seed and grows to live a long, productive life enriching our area and its inhabitants. The Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone people harvested the pine nut communally. Pine nuts became a staple food and key trade item in their culture. Pine needles were fashioned into beautiful and essential baskets; the pitch became glue, the dead limbs became fuel. The Pinyon pine tree survives under varied and adverse conditions. You may find one clinging to a hillside anchored by its roots in a crack between two rocks. To the native Great Basin people, the Pinyon pine is a sacred guarantee of a future and a symbol of community life.
So, why the Pinyon pine? It represents our goal of establishing a permanent community endowment that will be a resource for our future. If you’d like to learn more about our work and also our goal of establishing a permanent endowment, please give me a call. We make philanthropy simple, powerful, and effective.
Chris Askin, President & CEO
775.762.1932 or firstname.lastname@example.org
…Connecting people who care with causes that matter.