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Put End of Year Charitable Gift Planning on To-Do List

Here we are post-Thanksgiving, are your holiday decorations up? Are your house lights glowing and is the tree trimmed? Do you have plates of cookies and fudge on the counter in case someone comes by, and perhaps a fresh bottle of eggnog or Baileys handy? I don’t even want to ask about shopping. If you’re reading this on Saturday, the day after Black Friday, you are likely just beginning your Christmas readiness, and I bet you have a party or two on the calendar. Along with all the holiday activities, it is also clear that we are running out of time for our end-of-year financial planning. At the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, this is also a time of year when some fund holders are contacting their financial advisors to ask how much they should gift this year to maximize their charitable gift deduction. For the charitably inclined, having a clear understanding of the brackets and how much to gift to drop to the next lower bracket of taxable income, helps them get the most out of charitable giving. I heard from one advisor who is anticipating that with changes to the tax code in 2016 there will be more advantages to gifting this year than in 2017. If you are impacted by the highest brackets, you can make a more significant gift this year and then use a donor advised charitable fund at the Community Foundation to make your gifts to charities next year or even for several years when your charitable deduction won’t have as much value. And, in the meantime, your charitable fund can be invested to provide additional income that can be given away. With all that is on your December to-do list, charitable gift planning may not seem as important as the more fun items, but it doesn’t take long and may provide more financial benefit than you think. Once taken care of, you can celebrate your generous and taxwise planning by enjoying that piece of fudge and glass of eggnog. If you’d like help with any ideas or planning, please give me a call. We may even have a piece of fudge at the Community Foundation office to share. Chris Askin, President, and CEO 775-762-1932 Connecting people who care with causes that matter