What can you donate to Giving Center?

Giving Center accepts a wide variety of charitable contributions including but not limited to real estate donationsboat donations, aircraft donationsvehicle donations, collectibles, antiques, and more

Cash is the speediest way to donate, but it’s far from the most tax-efficient.

If you were to sell your investments and donate the cash, you’d be on the hook for capital gains. Instead, transfer the appreciated securities, including stocks and mutual funds, to Giving Center.

“Donors aren’t recognizing the gain on the sale of stock,” said Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and TurboTax blog editor. “They’re donating directly to a charitable organization and are able to write that off.”

This way, you claim a deduction on your taxes for the fair market value of the investment.

Giving Center’s Donor-Advised Fund:

Maybe you have multiple causes you’d like to favor with a gift. That’s where donor-advised funds come in. Philanthropists get an immediate tax deduction for gifts to this account, and the balance can be invested and grow tax-free. Donors can then make grants from the fund at any point in the future to as many organizations as they’d like.

“I can make one administrative effort to fund the donor-advised fund and then easily ask it to send money to charities,” said John Voltaggio, CPA and senior vice president at Northern Trust Wealth Management in New York. The ease of using such a fund gives it a leg up over a private foundation.

“Private foundations are labor intensive; you need a lawyer to create the document, and the foundation must file an annual tax return,” said Voltaggio. “Donor-advised funds don’t require that.” Using a donor-advised fund can help you ensure smooth granting to your favorite causes. With a donor-advised fund, you separate the timing of the deduction from the distribution. Another reason to call your advisor: If you’re over 70½ and required to take a mandatory distribution from your individual retirement account, it may make sense to donate it to charity.

This move, known as a qualified charitable distribution, satisfies the mandatory distribution without subjecting you to income taxes. The catch: You must coordinate with your IRA custodian to ensure a direct transfer to your charity. There is no double-dipping: While you can avoid a tax hit on the distribution, you won’t be able to claim this gift on your taxes. Maybe you’re gifting art, collectibles and real estate. If you claim a charitable deduction exceeding $500 for non-cash donations, you’ll need to file Form 8283. If you’re claiming more than $5,000 for your donated property – excluding securities – you’ll need to provide the IRS with a qualified appraisal of the item, along with Form 8283.

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