“How to Maximize the Benefits of Donating to a Charity” by Attorney Alexander Pagnotta (Audio)
Often, an individual wants to make a gift to charity. They don’t want something complicated, but they want to get the most bang for their buck.
Estate planning attorneys and other financial professionals know the client could just contribute cash to the charity. Certainly, that would be fine with the charity. But, there are ways which would be just as good for the charity, and would give a better result to the donor.
Perhaps the easiest way to get an increased bang for the buck is to give appreciated securities. If appreciated securities are given directly to a public charity, the client gets to deduct the full fair market value of the security and never pays tax on the gains which had occurred while the client held the property.
Let’s look at a quick example. Mary purchased Apple stock in its early days for what would be $10 per share, adjusting for splits in the interim. The stock is now worth $150 per share. Mary is considering giving 100 shares to charity. If Mary sells the stock, she will realize a gain of $150 less her basis of $10, or $140 per share, or $14,000. Depending upon her tax bracket and her state income taxes, she is likely to pay 20% or more of that in taxes. That would be $2,800. She could contribute the resulting cash, $15,000 less the tax of $2,800, or $12,200 to charity and would get a charitable deduction for up to that amount.
If, on the other hand, Mary gave the 100 shares of stock to the charity, she would not have realized the gain and would not have owed the $2,800 in tax. She would get the income tax deduction for the full $15,000 (assuming other limitations, such as on itemized deductions, etc., do not apply).
When the charity sells the stock, it will not have to pay tax on the gain as a tax-exempt entity. Thus, by giving the appreciated stock to the charity, Mary is better off because she gets a larger deduction. The charity is also better off because it receives property worth $15,000, instead of $12,800 in cash.
If you are looking to donate to a charity, while also provide yourself with a new source of income, then a Charitable Remainder Trust could be a viable option. A Charitable Remainder Trust works like this: You transfer typically a highly appreciated asset into the Trust. That asset can then be sold to purchase assets that produce income (i.e. investments). Then for each year, you can receive income from the trust. The remainder then goes to the charity of your choice. You may serve as trustee of your trust, or you may appoint someone else.
So why establish a Charitable Remainder Trust? Well, some of the advantages include:
- A source of income for you over a period of time, with the remainder interest going to a charity of your choice.
- When you establish the trust, you may take an income charitable tax deduction based upon the value of the asset, less your retained interest, that goes to the charity.
- By transferring a highly appreciated asset into the trust, you can avoid the impact of capital gains taxes.
Getting Help from An Annapolis Estate Planning Lawyer
Understanding the use of Charitable Remainder Trusts in estate planning can be complicated. You need to get comprehensive legal advice from a qualified professional who knows the ins-and-outs of estate planning. Sinclair Prosser Gasior can help.
To learn more about the Charitable Remainder Trust and to find out how to make effective use of legal tools to protect your wealth, give us a call at 410-573-4818 or contact us online today. You can also join us for a free seminar to get more information about the estate planning and business planning process. Contact us now to find out more.
- Maryland Inheritance Tax Myths - March 30, 2023
- Can I Handle the Duties of an Executor? - March 2, 2023
- What Happens with my Car at my Death? - January 24, 2023