Charitable Giving Series: Lifting Your Community, Reducing Your Tax

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Charitable giving is one of the remaining individual tax deductions that survived the last round of tax changes leading into the 2018 tax year. We lost the ability to deduct certain items like unreimbursed employee expenses, investment advisor fees, and even some of our state and local taxes. However, even with the ability to still deduct charitable contributions, there may be some smart moves to make before year-end in 2020 in order to maximize your charitable giving from a tax perspective.

Fortunately, Congress seems to be holding strong on encouraging Americans to support their churches and other charities in the community. They likely know it is not only politically advantageous but also that churches and charities can do true good for those in need.

I will put out a few thoughts during December that I hope are beneficial to you as it pertains to charitable giving. These are thoughts I hope you find helpful for yourself, your family, or your contacts. Ironically, some of these very same techniques are used not only by my clients but also by my wife and I as well as my parents and our friends–it is not just theoretical.

Not every topic will be a home run. We will aim for some singles or maybe even a sacrifice fly. In the long run, good fundamentals usually win out. Some of the topics I expect to cover will include:

  • Deducting contributions without itemizing
  • Itemizing versus Standard Deduction
  • Utilizing Donor Advised Funds
  • Bunching of deductions to maximize benefit
  • The impact of age and marital status on giving strategies
  • Using appreciated securities for contributions
  • GoFundMe “contributions”

You may have others that interest you or you have heard about. If so, feel free to drop me a line at to give me a heads up.