The End of the Calendar and Tax Years Is an Ideal Time to Think About the Impact of Your Giving in the Coming Year

December is more than just parties, gifts, and resolutions—it’s also the deadline for tax-deductible charitable giving.

Tax deductions are important for donors and nonprofits alike: donors reduce their taxable income, and nonprofits receive a bigger slice of the donation. To help you design a smart, strategic plan for your year-end charitable tax deductions, the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland is pleased to offer the following tips. Are you:

  • A donor who is undecided about which nonprofits to support? Consider opening a Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation. You can claim a deduction for contributions to your fund now even though distributions from the fund might be made in future years. A donor-advised fund can be set up in one meeting.
  • Short on cash after buying for everyone on your gift list? You can donate other assets such as IRAs, appreciated securities, life insurance, or real estate. The Community Foundation will work with you to transform those assets into gifts that support causes you care about.
  • Not sure which charities to support this year? Use the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar to identify reputable nonprofits in your area that need your help. Each service uses its own unique evaluation method to identify organizations so you don’t have to worry about your gift.
  • Planning your estate or that of a loved one? Join the Community Foundation’s Legacy Society and set up a fund with us as part of your estate planning process. The Community Foundation’s friendly and helpful staff will be happy to guide you through the simple process.

Remember, it’s important to complete your gift by December 31. A gift by check is complete when it is mailed to the charitable recipient, even if the check is not cashed until the following year. Gifts by credit card are complete when your credit card account is charged. Gifts of stock and real estate are more complex to arrange, so don’t wait until the end of the year to make them!

And to help you get off on the right foot for next year’s giving, why not let the Community Foundation help you create a giving plan for 2017? A giving plan will help ensure that your donations make the greatest impact on the causes you care about while maximizing tax advantages for both you and the organizations you support.

In the spirit of the season of giving, a fund at the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland will allow you to establish a legacy that will last beyond your lifetime.

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