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Federal Debt versus Charitable Donations

As the tax-code debate heats up this election season, one cherished break for taxpayers—the deduction for charitable contributions—is under fire.

The bridge is out. As the current tax code barrels down the track there seems to be no one in the engine room. If, or when, the tax code plunges  over the edge, (“sunsets” on December 31, 2012) one major casualty will be the current charitable deductions.

In many ways, charitable deductions are the common point of unity between savvy tax planners of all income levels. There are so many ways to give, and give wisely. This said, if the current laws change for the worse, either by expiring or by getting twisted in an unfavorable way, it could spell trouble in a host of ways for a host of people.

To get a better handle on some problems that may arise and the kinds of steps to take in 2012 while there’s time, you will find plenty of resources to research. Want to get the 2012 deduction, but still have some extra time to think about which charities to benefit? If yes, then consider a “donor advised fund.” Read more about this approach in The Wall Street Journal article titled “Invasion of the Charity Snatchers!”

So, you are concerned about facing a maximum cap on your eligible deductions read another WSJ article titled “Charitable Deductions Under Fire.” And, finally, if you are hoping to mitigate the tax burden of taking a required minimum distribution from your IRA by contributing it to charity instead, then don’t miss the Forbes article titled “The IRA Charitable Donation in 2012.”

In conclusion, although there remains great uncertainty regarding the future of charitable tax planning, there is plenty of information to keep you informed.

You can learn more about charitable planning on our website. Be sure to sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning. 

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2012) “Invasion of the Charity Snatchers!”

The Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2012) “Charitable Deductions Under Fire

Forbes (May 26, 2012) “The IRA Charitable Donation in 2012

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