You still have time to take action that could reduce your income tax liability for 2017 and give to organizations and causes that are important to you. We suggest that you consider the benefits of year-end giving and speak with your professional advisors about:
Accelerate deductions where possible. Accelerating deductions into 2017 by prepaying a deductible expense can lower this year’s bill. Accelerating the payment of or increasing charitable contributions at year-end is an effective planning strategy to reduce your tax liability and get needed financial support to Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) and your other favored charities sooner.
Both the House and Senate tax bills reduce taxes for individuals and businesses beginning in 2018. Take advantage of the tax-reduction impact created by current higher tax rates by increasing 2017 gifts, accelerating 2018 gifts or creating or adding to a donor-advised fund or permanent endowment before December 31 to lower your cost of giving.
Utilize appreciated securities for your charitable giving. Charitable contributions of appreciated securities, including stocks, bonds and mutual fund shares remain one of the most tax-efficient ways to redeem your commitment to the JFFS Annual Campaign. The investment markets have had a good run and are hovering at or near all-time highs. Many of us hold investments that have increased significantly in value, so it’s a good time to review your portfolio. Donating appreciated securities directly to JFFS (rather than selling the assets and donating the cash proceeds) can significantly increase the amount of money you have available for charitable giving while providing a larger tax benefit.
Charitable contributions of long-term appreciated securities (those held for more than one year) are also one of the most tax-efficient ways to underwrite your future philanthropy. Donating appreciated securities to create or add to your donor-advised fund or permanent endowment entitles you to a tax deduction for the full fair market value of such gifts, and no capital gains tax is paid on any appreciation. For more information about the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County’s donor-advised funds, visit www.jcfoc.org.
The IRA Charitable Rollover is permanent. Individuals age 70½ or older may make tax-free gifts totaling up to $100,000 from a traditional IRA directly to qualified charities such as Jewish Federation & Family Services, provided they are completed by December 31. The gift must be outright – transfers to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, charitable trusts or gift annuities do not qualify. If your spouse has IRA accounts, you may each make gifts of up to $100,000 from these accounts. IRA charitable rollovers can be especially attractive if you or a family member has assets in an IRA that you may be thinking of leaving to charity, if you are considering making a large one-time gift, or if you do not itemize deductions. To complete an IRA charitable rollover for 2017, all you need to do is contact your IRA provider for instructions.
We can help you maximize your support of people in need and strengthen Jewish community here, in Israel, and around the world. Plenty of time remains for you to maximize the benefits of these and other planning strategies, both charitable and personal. Our professionals are always available to consult with you and your tax advisors. For further information or assistance, please call Chelle Friedman at 949.435.3484 or your tax advisor.
Happy New Year, and thank you.