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29 November 2017

Our Annual Charitable Giving Guide

Our Annual Charitable Giving Guide

re you closing out the year on a high note? If so, consider giving to charities to offset potential capital gains taxes. With so many questions surrounding possible new tax laws in 2018, it may be more important than ever to take advantage of charitable giving opportunities before the end of the year. That’s because if your tax burden reduces in 2018, so will the tax value of those charitable contributions. If you are unsure of which charity you wish to support, you can always open and fund a Donor Advised Fund. The contributions made before December 31 are deductible, even though you don’t designate the charities until 2018 or even further into the future. Also, there are laws in place right now that can make giving even more beneficial. For example, if you’re 70 ½ or older, you can donate up to $100,000 from your IRA as part of your Required Minimum Distribution to charity each year, tax free.

Your first step in choosing a charity is to be sure it’s a 501(c)(3) in good standing. In the eyes of the IRS, individuals and political organizations do not count. Giving to most digital fundraising campaigns on websites like GoFundMe don’t count, either. The IRS will also require you to deduct the fair market value of any goods, services or merchandise you receive in return for your donation (so events like galas and golf tournaments may not count, depending on how much you spend).  

Top Charities in San Antonio

Finding a reputable charity can be a challenge, but organizations like Charity Navigator can help. The following are the top-rated charities in San Antonio when it comes to factors like fiscal responsibility and transparency.  

  • Animal Defense League of Texas: A no-kill animal shelter that is consistently one of San Antonio’s top charities when it comes to accountability and transparency.
  • San Antonio Food Bank: Which is also currently accepting donations directed specifically to help the shooting victims and families of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, an official food bank location.
  • Christian Senior Services: One of Bexar County’s largest non-profits which serves both Meals on Wheels San Antonio and Grace Place Alzheimer’s Activity Centers.
  • Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio: This South San Antonio organization offers primary care, dental care, health education, social services and more to about 12,000 families each year.
  •  Operation Homefront: Helps the families of service members and wounded warriors with specific needs including financial/medical expenses, food and repairs.
  • McNay Art Museum: The first museum of modern art in Texas now houses works by Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 
  • Texas Public Radio: This San Antonio-based network of radio stations broadcasts programs like Texas Standard, Texas Matters, and The Homefront Project.
  • Soldiers' Angels: The organization provides needed items to VA medical facilities and organizes the increasingly popular Treats for Troops program, which collects extra Halloween candy to send to troops. 
  • Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA): Recruits, trains, and supervises court-appointed volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children and youth.
  • LiftFund: Helps small business and startup owners with SBA 504 and small business loans.

Don’t forget: You can give a certain amount of money or property to loved ones tax-free, too. For tips, be sure to review our guide from last year. For questions on the tax advantages of giving and other last-minute tax-saving strategies, contact us.

Image Copyright: vltrdias / 123RF Stock Photo

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