Year End Contributions
With another secular / calendar year coming to an end, it's time to think about and make the appropriate arrangements regarding charitable contributions in general, and your pledge, as well as any other contributions, to the Federation in particular. There are a number of relevant items as to charitable contributions that you should keep in mind, some of which are partifularly relevant as we get towards the end of the year. Please consider:
- Charitable contributions are tax deductable. This assumes that youi itemize. Thus, contributions to the Federation will reduce your tax bill.
- For contributions to be deductable in 2010, they need to be made by the end of the year. You need to either mail a check before Decmeber 31st; or you can charge your contributions before December 31st.
- Contribute Stock -- this medthod of making a charitable contribution can be particularly tax attractive. If you have stock that has appreciated in value, and that you've held for more than one year (thus that stock represents long term capital gains), contributing the stock to the Federation can be an extremely tax effective and efficient move. Assume for the moment that you are going to contribute $5,000 to the Federation and that you have stock that is worth $5,000 but that only cost you $3,000, and you've held it for more than one year. Instead of cutting a check for $5,000, you can contribute the $5,000 of stock. You get the same $5,000 deduction--but by doing it with the stock, you avoid having to recognize the built-in $2,000 gain on that stock. Thus, not only do you get a $5,000 deduction, but you do not have to recognize $2,000 of long term capital gain. If you want to maintain your position in that stock,m you can cut a check for $5,000 to replace that stock--using the same $5,000 that you8 would have laid out as a charitable contribution to the Federation, but now stepping up your basis in that stock. This is truly a win-win situation.
- Of course, please keep in mind that your Federation needs the money, and it is put to excellent use for Jewish charities--locally, in Israel, and otherwise internationally.
- Not necessarily relevant to the Federation, but as a general suggestion, if you are going to contribute non-monetary items (such as clothing, furniture or a car) there are certain rules to follow. but in general, it is urged that you make a list of what you are giving away and get a receipt from the charity to which you have given these goods. It is your responsibility to estimate the value of what you are contributing. It is also recommended that you take a picture of what you are giving away and put that picture in your file. There are other rules, especially when the amount is of substance.
As to charitable contributions and any of the tax ramifications of the same, the above is not intended to be tax advice. By all means, it is recommended that you consult with your CPA, tax advisor, financial planner or whatever is appropriate for you.
In any case, please remember that the Federation is here to help you do good--there are many people who are in desperate need of our help. By and large, we are fortunate, and we have an obligation to share that fortune with others less fortunate.
Very truly yours,
Kalman A. Barson, CPA, The Barson Group
Campaign Chair / Past President JFSHWC