The robins are back, and spring is finally here.
Most of us probably have some spring cleaning projects in mind to refresh and renew our surroundings. It is a ritual of hope and optimism. Another ritual that is around the corner is the deadline for filing income taxes on April 15. Most people don’t really enjoy the process of gathering the necessary information and completing the document. Being well-organized is a key to success and requires some “spring cleaning” of your filing systems.
If you have already begun the process this year, you may find yourself among those who wish they had done more charitable giving in 2014 that could be claimed as charitable deductions. Perhaps your financial adviser recommended that your tax situation would be improved if you donated a certain amount to charity, and you did not have the time to properly assess deserving organizations so you missed the opportunity to give and to claim those deductions.
Note to self: Form a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation in 2015! It is a very simple and effective mechanism for tracking your charitable giving.
Here is how it works.
- You make a gift to the Community Foundation using cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets.
- We set up the fund (the same day if you wish) that you name.
- You receive the tax benefits in the year your gift is made.
A Donor Advised Fund “buys you time” to research organizations and their needs and give in a more informed, deliberate and purposeful manner over the course of time. It also streamlines the itemization process by combining all of your charitable giving into one line item on your tax return – instead of multiple entries that need to be substantiated.
There are many other ways to invest in your community and receive favorable tax treatment including naming the Foundation in your will, or setting up a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, or lead trust. The simplest and most convenient investment however is an outright gift of cash, appreciated stocks, bonds, real estate, or other assets. Your charitable gift qualifies for the maximum tax advantages allowed by law.
We recommend that you contact your financial adviser to discuss the benefits of including the Community Foundation in your tax and estate plans. While it is too late to include in your filing for 2014, now is the time to take a “fresh” look at how you want your return to look for 2015 utilizing a Donor Advised Fund.
For those who have already named the Foundation or a named fund at the Community Foundation in your estate plan, or as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or other asset, please let us know (if you have not already done so) and tell us if you would like to remain anonymous or if you would like your name listed in our materials as a member of the Community Foundation’s Greenleaf Legacy Society. You will receive a special invitation to a complimentary Greenleaf Legacy Society cocktail party the Community Foundation is hosting on Thursday evening, May 28, 2015 to honor your goodwill and generosity.
To learn more information about these giving options, visit our website at www.cfosny.org or call our offices at 845-769-9393.