Rarely does a week pass without some shakeup in Washington D.C. making the headlines. Most recently, the debate over tax reform has taken center stage and on this Giving Tuesday, it is a pertinent time to examine how the proposed changes are sure to influence charitable giving practices. Investors across the country are taking note and have been making serious moves to benefit from the existing tax laws before any changes go into effect.
Study after study has shown that charitable giving trends ramp up in the fourth quarter. Bolstered by holiday spirit and the need to make gifts to avoid taxes, December is, by far, the month when individuals feel most charitable. But what about the rest of the year? While nonprofit organizations are getting flooded with donations in November and December, charitable giving tends to taper off considerably after January 1st.
According to FEMA, there have been 105 declared natural disasters in the United States this year. From the flooding in Arkansas, Missouri and parts of Illinois, to the wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest, to the most recent devastation experienced in Houston, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, thousands of people are now homeless and billions of dollars and many months will be needed to complete a full recovery.
Our team loves to share great reads and yesterday a piece by Ben Steverman on Bloomberg.com was circulated. Be sure to take a few minutes to read the article but the overall premise he makes is to get your deductions this year because next year’s deductions may be less valuable. Of course, we were most interested in the portion of the article on charitable giving.
With Labor Day weekend behind us, we say good-bye to summer and gear up for our favorite time of year; giving season.
Still reeling from the sting of your tax bill for 2015? Nothing can ruin a beautiful spring day like writing Internal Revenue Service in the ‘Pay to the Order of’ section of a check. Perhaps you are an accountant or trusted advisor who had to deliver the exciting news to a client that they must make “additional contributions” to the government this year? Unfortunately, our time machine is still in development so we can’t go back to 2015 to right our wrongs, but moving forward, there is a way to turn potential compulsory contributions to Uncle Sam into charitable gifts for organizations you and your clients love.
Traffic on all northbound arteries is picking up as the snowbirds return home after their winter in the sunny south. For many of these retirees, their first order of business once home will be to visit their trusted advisors. If your clients share with you concerns about maintaining two homes, are you ready to discuss options with them?