Five Tips for Year-End Giving

If you are like most people, you do your major giving toward the end of the year. This probably occurs for several reasons. The closing of the tax season encourages itemizers to obtain income tax deductions; a barrage of earnest appeals by nonprofits increases awareness of financial need; and many are simply predisposed to end the year by making a charitable gift.

Here are five tips to help you make the most of your year-end giving:

  1. Calculate your income. Try to get a handle on your tax liability for the year. Did your unearned income increase? Did you sell any appreciated assets? Will you owe more taxes? This alone may motivate you to increase your giving before December 31. In fact, you may even want to move some of your giving forward from next year to create a larger income tax deduction for yourself this year. Non-itemizers may especially find this “grouping of gifts” useful to take advantage of an itemized tax return every other year. In any case, by the time you fill out your income tax return, it will be too late to make charitable gifts for the previous year. Take the time to do some planning while you still have the opportunity to make a year-end gift.
  2. Review your stocks. Look at the stocks you have held for more than a year. Which ones have appreciated the most? It may be prudent for you to make your year-end gift using one or more of these stocks. Here is why: If you sold the stock, you would incur capital gains tax on the appreciation. However, if you give the stock and allow Saint Leo University to sell it, no one pays tax. And you get a charitable deduction for the full amount of the stock, just as you would if your gift was made with cash. In addition, if you cannot use all of the income tax charitable deduction resulting from the gift, you can carry it forward for up to an additional five years. Such gifts are deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  3. Consider a life-income gift. Saint Leo University offers a variety of life-income plans to fit your needs. You can make a gift now, obtain tax benefits, and receive income for the rest of your life. Sound too good to be true? A few minutes of your time will convince you otherwise. Our planned giving officer can provide personalized illustrations and printed material to assist you and your advisor(s).
  4. Do your giving early. This is especially true if you want to make a gift of noncash assets (stock, real estate, etc.). It also applies to life-income gifts (gift annuities, pooled income fund contributions, trust arrangements, etc.). Your professional advisor(s) and Saint Leo University’s planned giving officer will be busy as the year winds down. The sooner you can get your gift activity going, the better it will be for everyone concerned.
  5. Talk to your advisor. Before making any significant gift to Saint Leo University, or to any other nonprofit for that matter, you should have your CPA, attorney, or other advisor help you understand the impact of your gift on your income tax return and estate. We at Saint Leo University want your giving to be prudent, as well as generous and joyful.

Is Saint Leo University a part of your estate? Contact Stephen Kubasek, director of Planned Giving, at (352) 588-8355 or if you would like to include a gift to Saint Leo University in your estate plan.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.