To give and to receive – all at once

To give and to receive – all at onceIt feels good to give gifts, and to receive them. When you make contributions to qualified charities, you may achieve this double benefit by receiving a tax deduction. The key, however, is to ensure your money goes where you want it to.

It’s important to check out the organization not just for the tax benefit to you, but to ensure it meets its intended mission and doesn’t spend donations through excessive overhead expenses. With large donations, you may even wish to place restrictions on how the funds can be used and ensure you can track the results.

The Internet can help you perform due diligence via charity research websites such as CharityNavigator.com. Another way to assess a charitable organization is to donate your time as well as your money. Four out of five charities report that they use volunteers to help achieve their goals,1 and volunteering can remove the veil of uncertainty and give you an insider’s view of the organization, its people and practices. In addition, you may see firsthand the value and appreciation of your charitable gift at work.

Only gifts to qualified organizations are eligible for a tax deduction. You may find some organizations that solicit you for donations are not qualified charities under the Internal Revenue Code. Always request written information about the charity that includes not only its mission and how donations are used, but also the name, address and telephone number of the charity. And always get a receipt for the amount of your donation.

You can claim a deduction for your charitable gift only in the year it is made. Eligible tax deductions can be significant as the actual cost of the donation is reduced by your tax savings. The accompanying table illustrates how the cost of a $10,000 charitable gift decreases for donors in higher tax brackets.

Charitable Gift Chart

Please keep these points in mind if you make direct gifts to charitable organizations. However, when you partner with the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Foundation (RJCEF) for charitable donations, we take care of the due diligence. We vet the charities that receive gifts to ensure the distribution complies with IRS guidelines for tax deductibility.

With the RJCEF donor advised fund (DAF), you receive a tax deduction for the year in which you donate cash or securities to your DAF account. A receipt for the gift is issued at the time of the donation and the transactions will appear on your quarterly statement. You may also view the donations in your RJCEF online account under the “Contribution History” tab.

1. CharityNavigator.com, “Guide to Volunteering.”

 

Archives

Four gift strategies for 2015
Presently, there is approximately $45 billion in donor advised funds (DAF) in the U.S.
… Read More

To give and to receive – all at once
It feels good to give gifts, and to receive them.
… Read More

WHAT, WHERE, HOW: Your 3-step philanthropic plan
While charitable giving offers a multitude of advantages – both for organizations
… Read More

FAMILY VALUES: What's the best way to pass them on?
Learn about how to pass down your family's philanthropic values.
… Read More

Giving Wisely
As the economy improves and confidence grows, charitable giving is making a comeback.
… Read More

The value of an ethical will
Many people understand the value of a legal will, but what about an ethical will? … Read More

How to make philanthropy
a family affair

Many families believe that philanthropy is an excellent way to teach the next generation … Read More