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7 Strategies to Maximize Charitable Deductions

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With the Tax Cut Jobs Act of 2017 now in effect, conventional planning methods have been turned upside down and it’s more important than ever before to understand the do’s and don’ts when it comes to charitable deductions. Creative tax planning can still give you the opportunity to maximize donation tax benefits. The key is to be taxpayer specific. Meaning, what works for one group of donors, may not work for others.  This makes planning more critical than ever before.

In the wake of tax reform, individuals and business owners are looking for ways to maximize the benefits of itemized deductions and it is critical to focus on ideal timing and specific methods of donation in order to claim maximum tax savings.

Here are 7 Strategies to Maximize Charitable Deductions in 2019


Out of Pocket Matters

The IRS allows charitable deductions of 14 cents per mile for volunteers who use their automobiles to perform duties on behalf of schools, religious institutions, hospitals, and other various charitable organizations. Things like parking fees, tolls, away-from-home meals are tax deductible.

Organize your Receipts

The IRS lists proper documentation as; receipts, bank records, letters from a charity confirming receipt of your gift, any electronic records like emails. FAILURE of PROOF is a quick way to FAIL an AUDIT.

The Friends & Family Plan

It’s common these days for anyone to have a cash strapped relative or close friend. Before loaning away any money, create documentation to establish those transactions as loans. Have your debtor, relative or friend, sign the agreements and specify when payments are due.

Non-cash Gift Giving

The list of Non-Cash gifts that benefit charities ranges from….

  • Clothing
  • Household Furniture/Appliances
  • Automobiles
  • Jewelry
  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Appreciated Stock Shares

Give More to a Select Few

An excellent strategy is to designate your giving across a select few worthy charities. Your charitable contribution will go further, and you will know the much greater impact your donation has for each charity.

Donor Advised Funding (DAFs)

If you are looking for ways to exceed the higher standard deduction, you might consider pooling several years’ worth of charitable donations into a single contribution to a DAF. A Donor Advised Fund is a way to stash tax-favored cash and then use allowable distributions to support designated charities.

Stack Donations

DAFs (above) are especially beneficial if you want to “Stack” Charitable Donations. You take the tax deduction in the year you contribute to the DAF, regardless of the date the charity receives a grant.

Giving to worthy charities can be rewarding both on a personal level and at tax season, provided you understand the new charitable deduction landscape.

It’s important to have a seasoned professional on your side when it comes to maximizing your charitable deductions. At Borshoff Consulting, we understand how to maximize charitable deductions, so that you don’t have to.

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