We contribute to charities for various reasons. While the potential for charitable donation tax deductions are a valuable benefit, there are more sincere motivations for giving. Some individuals give simply to experience the pure joy of helping others. Others do so out of a strong sense of social responsibility or to drive the changes they wish to see in the world. Giving can offer a profound sense of personal fulfillment. Beyond the impact on the giver and recipient, parents may discover that these acts of kindness serve as valuable teaching moments to their children.
Regardless of intent, charitable giving is a practice that not only benefits those in need but also offers advantages to the givers themselves. In today’s guest blog from Nichole Coyle CFP®, we explore some of the subtleties of charitable donation tax deduction and discuss the ways giving imparts powerful lessons for our children.
Tax Advantages of Charitable Giving
Charitable Donation Tax Deduction
One of the biggest advantages of giving is the potential for charitable donation tax deductions. When you donate to IRS-qualified nonprofit organizations, you may be eligible for deductions on your federal income tax return. This reduces your taxable income and, consequently, your overall tax liability. In order to benefit from these deductions, you’ll need to itemize deductions on your tax return rather than taking the standard deduction. It’s important to keep detailed records of your charitable contributions, including receipts, to substantiate your claims.
Donor-advised funds are a popular vehicle for charitable giving. By contributing to a donor-advised fund, you can receive an immediate charitable donation tax deduction for that year, and then, over time, direct the funds to various eligible causes. This offers flexibility while still allowing you to enjoy the tax benefits.
These funds also allow your contribution to grow tax-free until you make a withdrawal towards a charity. Keep in mind that these accounts are irrevocable, so once you contribute to one, you cannot remove the funds for anything except a charitable gift.
Charitable giving can also play a crucial role in estate planning. By including charitable bequests in your will or estate plan, you can reduce the estate tax burden on your heirs while supporting the causes you care about. Planned gifts can provide a donor the opportunity to have a positive impact on a community and create a lasting legacy.
GIVING FOR CHILDREN: PAYING IT FORWARD
In addition to receiving tax benefits for your charitable gifts, we can teach the next generation how to practice compassion and responsibility. I personally believe that we should include our children in age-appropriate conversations about money. How else will they learn about money management, the pros and cons of debt, or charitable giving? Below are five ways to teach our children and grandchildren about the importance of charitable giving.
Lead by Example
Children learn by observing their parents. Demonstrate the importance of giving by involving them in your charitable activities, whether it’s volunteering at a local charity or donating to causes you believe in. Volunteering as a family not only strengthens your bond but also exposes your children to the value of giving their time and energy to help others.
Tailor your discussions about charitable giving to your child’s age and comprehension level. Explain where your donations go and how they make a difference in the world.
Set an Allowance for Giving
Consider suggesting that your child sets aside a portion of their allowance specifically for charitable giving. This empowers them to make decisions about how much and where to donate, as well as instilling a sense of responsibility. Having a “give jar” is one of the jar allocations that I talk about in this blog, which examines ways to discuss money matters with kids.
Encourage your children to research and select charitable organizations they are passionate about. This teaches them the importance of making informed decisions and aligning their giving with their values.
Celebrate Acts of Kindness
Celebrate and acknowledge your child’s charitable acts, whether it’s donating a portion of their birthday money or organizing a charity drive at school. Positive reinforcement fosters a sense of pride in giving.
Charitable giving offers both tax deduction benefits and invaluable life lessons for our children. By incorporating giving into our lives and teaching the next generation about the joy of giving, we can create a legacy of compassion and generosity that extends far beyond our own lifetimes. Remember, when we give, we not only make a difference in the world but also in the hearts and minds of those we inspire to follow our lead.
As always, if you have questions regarding this or any other financial matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
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