If you plan on filing Schedule A as part of your 2015 tax return, there are several ways to increase your charitable contributions by year end. The easiest way to increase your charitable contribution and support the GA community, would be to write a check to Guardian Angels. As long as your check and the envelope are postmarked by December 31, 2015 it will qualify for a deduction on your 2015 tax return.
Any gift over $250 must have a receipt in order to qualify as a tax deduction. If you choose to donate cash, please include your name and address so that we can make sure a receipt is sent to you.
EMPLOYER MATCHING FUNDS-If your company or firm will match gifts to GA, your gifts are worth even more! If your company or firm has a matching gift program, simply enclose the form along with your check, or let us know and we will be happy to follow up.
STOCK CONTRIBUTIONS-If you have stock, mutual funds or bonds, that have appreciated in value, it may be to your advantage to contribute a portion of these investments instead of cash. Typically, any stock, mutual funds, or bonds contributed will not be subject to capital gains on your return. In addition to this, you will be eligible to deduct the fair market value of the investment as a charitable contribution. You are only eligible for these tax advantages if you donate stocks, mutual funds and bonds directly to the parish.
IRA-401K CHARITABLE DEDUCTION – Congress is considering extending tax incentives to stimulate contributions for persons age 70.5 and older, who may wish to direct up to $100,000 from their individual Retirement Account or 401K Plan to our parish. To qualify you must act before December 31, 2015.
GIFTS OF REAL ESTATE, PROPERTY, AND LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES
REAL ESTATE – If you have owned your residence, vacation home, office building, acreage, farm or vacant lot for many years, a charitable gift of that real estate can be especially tax advantageous. The property may have so appreciated in value through the years that its sale would mean a sizable capital gains tax. By making a year-end gift of this property to the Church instead, you avoid the capital gains tax, and at the same time, qualify for a fully deductible contribution equal to the property’s fair market value. It is also possible to make a gift of your home or vacation home so that you and, if applicable, your spouse can continue to live in the house for your respective lifetimes. This arrangement will also qualify as a 2015 contribution, deductible up to the residual value of the home.
PROPERTY – Do you have a coin or stamp collection that you no longer wish to maintain in in which your children have expressed no interest? Has someone left you some artwork, but it is not quite your style? Depending upon the type of personal property, how you acquired it, how long you have held it, and when you plan to gift it, giving personal property may be a wonderful and often overlooked way to contribute to your parish.
OLD OR NO LONGER NEEDED LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES – If death benefit proceeds are no longer needed to protect your family (or whatever purpose it once served), you can donate an old or no longer needed life insurance policy to Guardian Angels, if the policy has a cash value, you would be eligible for an immediate deduction of that amount and the donation removes the future death benefit from your taxable estate. While life insurance is generally ‘income’ tax-free, it is not ‘estate’ tax-free. Guardian Angels would then, as owner and beneficiary, have the option of surrendering the policy for its cash value or using the future death benefits to build an endowment.
DOING MORE… PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS AND LIFE INCOME GIFTS – Do you want to make a charitable gift at year-end but are not quite sure which organizations you wish to support at this time? Is your advisor suggesting you bunch your contributions this year but you don’t want to disappoint your favorite charities next year? You can solve these dilemmas by establishing a philanthropic fund with the Catholic Community Foundation. A philanthropic fund is a named donor advised fund of the Foundation. As the donor, you retain the privilege to make nonbinding recommendations to GA for charitable grants to be made from the fund. You can create a philanthropic fund by making an irrevocable gift of cash, securities or other property to the Catholic Community Foundation. You can receive an immediate income tax deduction for the amount of the initial gift and on each subsequent gift to the fund. The fund is invested and generally no tax is paid on the income generated by the fund. You may make charitable grant recommendations from both income and principal. If appropriate, you may also include your spouse or children as advisors to the fund.
A philanthropic fund is a convenient tool that enables you to more carefully plan your charitable giving and may have the added benefit of modeling philanthropy to the next generation of your family.
A Life Income Gift provides annual income for a term of years, or for life, to you and/or a beneficiary you designate. One of several “life-income” gifts may be appropriate for you if you own stocks, bonds, or certificates of deposit that are paying little in dividends. Moreover, for tax planning purposes, if you have already considered a provision for GA in your will or trust, a life income gift often allows you to accomplish your goals during your lifetime, earn a stream of income and receive tax advantages.
A Charitable Gift Annuity is created with a gift to this church, under an agreement with the Catholic Community Foundation, to pay a specified annuity payment for the lifetime of the donor or the donor’s designee. A portion of the annuity payment may be tax-free. The combination of a fixed payment of partially tax-free income and the initial charitable deduction makes this arrangement quite attractive. In the year the annuity is created there may be an immediate tax deduction.
A Charitable Remainder Trust is created with a gift of cash, securities or other property to a trust, with provisions to pay a donor or donor’s designee an income for a stated period. The principal (the remainder) goes to the church at the end of the term of years or upon the beneficiary’s death. In the year the trust is created, there may be an immediate income tax deduction.
Please remember, all contributions must be made by December 31, 2015. We ask that you consult with your tax advisor or financial advisor before making any decisions regarding the donation of cash, stock, mutual funds, bonds, retirement plans or property. You can contact the Parish Office at 952-227-4000 and we will answer any questions you may have.