Generosity in Tax Season? (Part One)

Couple reviews generosity plan

It is once again tax-filing season. Time to check the mail each day for those stray T4’s and T5’s and gather up a year’s worth of receipts for medical and education expenses and charitable donations.

For the highly organized among us the start of tax season triggers little more than walking a few steps to retrieve a specific file from its designated location where every form and receipt have been neatly clipped together in ascending date order.

For the rest of us, it sets off a frantic scavenger hunt through various areas of the house where we have scurried away important bits of paper for safekeeping – on top of the filing cabinet, in the junk drawer, among a pile of random gas coupons, and hidden in a mash of papers that have fallen behind the desk. And then there’s the e-receipts we hope we didn’t delete. Most often, this joyous annual sport is accompanied by increasingly frustrated accusations regarding who forgot to put what away and why an old tissue box is a suitable substitute for a filing cabinet. Sound familiar?

And once we’ve collected all those receipts, there are other last-minute considerations as well. Did we meet the goal of how much we set out to donate this year? Did we give to all the charities on our list? Would it have been better if we’d donated with different assets?

The Perfect Time to Make a Generosity Plan

Yes, tax season may not be one we routinely associate with our most charitable thoughts, but it is actually a terrific time to take stock of your charitable giving and consider how you could benefit from a customized Generosity Plan for the year ahead and beyond.

Organizing your charitable giving with a Generosity Plan will not only simplify the task of tracking and managing future charitable receipts, but this more strategic approach to your charitable giving will also ensure that you are giving in the most tax-efficient way possible.

Working with a gift planning professional can uncover tax saving opportunities you never knew existed. For example, you probably know that charitable receipts generate tax credits that offset your income tax payable, but did you know that some charitable donations can impact your income tax return beyond just generating tax credits?

In Part Two, we’ll look at how Joanne and John Nelson set out to consolidate their charitable receipts and discovered a whole new way to support the causes they care about – donating publicly traded securities.

Contributed by Susan Yakabowich
Gift Planning Consultant

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