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Tax Benefits Of Donor Advised Funds

Capital Gains Elimination Or Reduction

Demystifying Donor Advised Funds – WHYY Events (2022)

You can also fund your donor-advised fund with direct donations of stock or other appreciated assetss. When you do this, you donate the security at fair market value and are not subject to any capital gains tax. The donor-advised fund receives the full value of the security.

If you were to liquidate your security, pay the capital gains tax and then make your donation the charity would recieve a smaller gift.

You can receive an immediate tax deduction of up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income for gifts of securities, mutual funds, real estate, and other assets.

You also receive a five-year carry-forward deduction on gifts that go beyond the 30 percent limit.

Donor-advised funds benefit both donors and their charities in many ways. Taking time to meet with a specialized team of investment experts will help you understand best how to set up and manage the fund.

A Typical Daf Scenario

Heres how tax deductions for contributions to Donor Advised Fund work:

If a donor has held an asset such as a stock for more than one year, the donor can contribute that stock to their DAF. The sponsoring foundation that controls the DAF then liquidates that asset , making the full value of the sales proceeds available for that donor to recommend to a charity.

Even better, the donor is able to deduct the full fair market value of the asset at the time of transfer into the DAF, significantly reducing taxable income.

Lets look at the math.

Lets imagine a donor, well call him Phil Anthropy, bought 100 shares of Apple stock at $5 . This gives Phil a cost basis of $500 for that purchase. If five years later Apple is now worth $50 per share, Phil now owns $5,000 worth of Apple.

Now imagine its the end of the year and Phil wants to make a $5,000 donation to his favorite charity. If he doesnt have the cash, Phils first option is to sell his Apple stock for $5,000. When he does this hell immediately incur a capital gains tax on his appreciated value which is $4,500 . If Phils capital gains tax rate is 15%, his capital gains tax bill will be $675. It also means that Phil only has $4,500 to give to charity!

Don’t Let The Tax Grinch Spoil Clients’ Charitable Giving

Vanguard’s Tax-Planning Series explores how advisors can deepen their client relationships as they help clients minimize the burden of taxes and more efficiently reach their financial goals.

It’s the end of the year, and many clients might be in the giving spirit when it comes to causes they support and believe in. That generosity probably stops, however, at giving the government more than is absolutely necessary in taxes.

A well-planned charitable giving strategy can help clients support their causes and reduce income and capital gains taxes. Given the resilient stock market and tax provisions enacted through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, many charitably inclined clients can be particularly well served by an effective giving strategy.

Under the 2017 tax act, the standard deduction available to taxpayers increased substantially, while other deductions were eliminated or rendered moot. For example, the standard deduction available to a single person rose from $6,350 in 2017 to $12,550 in the 2021 tax year and for a married couple filing jointly, it rose from $12,700 in 2017 to $25,100 in 2021. Other deductions less than those amounts were eliminated or rendered moot under the aforementioned act.

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Reduction Of The Tax Burden Of Financial Windfalls

When you sell a business, receive an inheritance, experience strong stock market returns, or otherwise experience a financial windfall, this can have substantial tax consequences. When you make a charitable contribution to a donor-advised fund, you can reduce your tax liability and limit the financial burden that your windfall could cause. Donation a portion of your windfall or your other assets at the right time could allow you to pre-fund many years of giving to your favorite charities while significantly reducing your IRS bill for the year the windfall was received.

A Giving Noncash Assets More Easily

Donor Advised Funds: Key Strategies for Fundraising [VIDEO]

In this subsection I provide more detailed explanations of how DAFs facilitate gifts of noncash assets.

What and When to Contribute to a DAF?

If a donor wishes to use a noncash asset for a gift to charity, which asset should the donor use, and when should it be given to a DAF relative to the intended date of transfer of the funds to the charity?

In most cases, the donor wishing to maximize tax savings should give the stock she owns with the highest fraction of capital gains. After the DAF contribution she can adjust her investment and DAF portfolios to restore diversification, even repurchasing the stock she contributed.

When during the tax year should she fund the DAF? If she expects her portfolio to be growing in value, she will gain the most tax savings if she makes the contribution as late as possible. For example, imagine she owns a share that is sure to go up by 10% in value. Funding the DAF with shares worth $1,000 in January and granting them to charity in December means that the charity gets $1,100 and she gets a deduction of $1,000. Had she waited until December to fund the DAF at $1,100, then everything would be the same, but now she can claim an extra $100 tax deduction.

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Maximizing The Power Of Donor


Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2017, use of donor-advised funds is soaring. They remain one of the best ways for many people to maximize the tax benefits of charitable giving.

Contributions to DAFS increased by 80% from 2015 to 2019, according to the National Philanthropic Trust . Grantmaking from DAFS increased by 93% during that period. The NPT says every key metric about DAFs increased for 10 consecutive years.

A DAF is created or sponsored by a charity. For a long time DAFs were little-known vehicles operated by local, regional, and a few national charities. They began to take off in the 1990s after a charity affiliated with Fidelity Investments created the Charitable Gift Fund. Now the charitable arms of most major brokerage and mutual fund firms sponsor DAFs, with the largest organized by Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard.

The DAF gives everyone many of the tax and charitable giving advantages previously available only to those wealthy enough to set up private foundations. Now, planned charitable giving is low-cost, national, and convenient. In fact, many wealthy people now opt to use DAFs instead of incurring the costs and time in establishing a foundation or charitable trust.

Choose How To Use Your Gift

DAF sponsoring organizations may have legal control, but donors can still advise how to use their gifts. Donors can tell DAFs to contribute to their favorite charities and give anonymously. Donors can also name family members or friends as advisors and create a legacy plan to ensure the gift continues after their death.

In the below example, the Center for Clean Air Policy has provided a way for donors to direct their DAF funds to their charity. This is a great way to let donors know that a nonprofit is open to accepting DAF funds actually, a good way to even educate them on this new way of giving.

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What Is A Donor

A simple, flexible and tax-advantageous way to give to your favorite charities.

A donor-advised fund, or DAF, is like a charitable investment account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about.

When you contribute cash, securities or other assets to a donor-advised fund at a public charity, like Fidelity Charitable, you are generally eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. Then those funds can be invested for tax-free growth, and you can recommend grants to virtually any IRS-qualified public charity.

You want your charitable donations to be as effective as possible when you give. Donor-advised funds are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States because they are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to give to charity. Lets take an in-depth look at how a DAF works.

Capital Gains Tax Savings

Don’t Overlook Donor-Advised Funds for Charitable Giving

If you make a gift of illiquid assets that have appreciated in value, you generally will not have to pay any capital gains taxes. This includes a gift of securities or real estate that has gone up in value since the time of your purchase. However, you generally must have owned the securities for more than a year to donate them at their fair market value and avoid capital gains tax.

Donating appreciated stock rather than first liquidating and then donating the proceeds can both eliminate capital gains and reduce your marginal income tax rate.

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Think You Want To Set Up A Donor

When choosing a donor-advised fund to contribute to, it is vital to do your research. Unfortunately, the IRS has found some DAFs to be accumulating wealth and providing economic benefits to donors, rather than distributing the funds to charitable organizations. If you need assistance in choosing the right DAF for you, we would be glad to help.

Donor-advised funds are a great way to reduce your tax liability this year, and for many years to come. Contact us if you have any questions regarding how a DAF can support your charitable giving while also offering tax benefits.


C How Important Are Dafs And Daf Tax Policy

Do DAFs involve enough money for policymakers to really worry about? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is a resounding yes. illustrates recent trends in DAFs. From 2007 to 2015, contributions to DAFs rose by 240% to a total of $22.26 billion per year. Grants from DAFs to charities rose by a similar percent, to $14.5 billion. Year-end assetsthe unspent contributionsclimbed to $78.64 billion, a 255% increase. Over the same period, the number of DAF accounts grew as well, but at a relatively slower pace of 178% to almost 270,000 accounts.

Fig. 1.

Increasing contributions to and assets held in donor-advised funds

Source: National Philanthropic Trust, Donor-Advised Fund Report, 201116.

Fig. 2.

Annual contributions and grants per DAF account, compared to average charitable deduction of all taxable returns with charitable deductions.

Source: National Philanthropic Trust, Donor-Advised Fund Report, 201116 IRS Statistics of Income reports in individual income tax returns.

Table 1.

The Size and Scope of Donor-Advised Funds from 2007 to 2015 in 1,000s of Nominal US Dollars

Average per IRS Return with Taxable Charitable Deduction:
Charitable deduction
All DAF Contributions and Grants as a Percent of total IRS Contributions:
Contributions to DAFs
4.02 3.79

National Philanthropic Trust, Donor-Advised Fund Report, 20112016 IRS Statistic of Income, Table 2.1, 20072014 and authors calculations

Fig. 3.

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Make The Most Out Of Your Charitable Giving

Southwestern Investment Group advisors strive to make charitable giving a priority for our clients. We know that your donations can make a difference in the world, while also providing you with tax advantages and adding to your long-term financial strategy. Want to make charitable giving part of your plan? Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to schedule a consultation with an advisor near you.

B Tax Policy Toward Donor

JCF Montreal

Imagine a donor wishing to give $100 to a small local charity, say, a food bank. Coincidentally, the donor owns shares with substantial capital gains selling for $100 per share. Ideally the donor would like to give one share of stock to the food bank in order to get the maximum tax savings. Unfortunately, the cost of transferring and liquidating the single share of stock would be so high that the food bank would likely refuse the gift of the noncash asset. Wouldnt it be convenient, therefore, if the donor could give the shares easily to another charity who can accept them, and for a small fee, send the food bank a check for $100? This is what Donor-Advised Funds do.

Second is convenience. It is easy to avoid capital gains taxation by donating securities, artwork, or real estate to a DAF before liquidating them, whereas this could be impossible for some smaller donations without a DAF.

Third is commitment. Once in the DAF, any funds account can only be withdrawn in the form of grants to charitable organizations.

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Strategies For Maximizing Your Charitable Impact In 2021

2020 was a year we will never forget for the depth of difficulties people faced, the breadth of challenges charities encountered, and the incredible generosity from donors to support those who were most impacted. In this year of historic tumult and uncertainty, Schwab Charitable donors recommended $3.7 billion in grants, over $230 million of which was specifically earmarked for COVID-19 relief.

C Combining Benefits And Costs

If DAF policy is to be successful, it must encourage more in new donations than it costs in new amounts of lost tax revenue and delayed investment in charity.

I can broadly organize the effects of DAFs into three categories. Importantly, people can be influenced by all three effects. The first I will call tax minimizing. DAF users who are tax minimizing are concerned with reaching their giving goals with the greatest tax savings they can uncover.

Second is DAF saving. This is the use of DAFs to smooth giving, prepay before retirement, or to stockpile future giving in years when one realizes a large capital gain. All of these create gaps in time between when contributions claim a tax deduction and when the contribution is put to work by some charity. There is typically a bigger social cost the bigger this gap becomes.

The third kind of effect, which we can call inspiring generosity is that the increased subsidies available to DAFs inspire people to give more. In the analysis, the average person I will be modeling will have some of all three motives. Whether DAFs are an improvement over the policy without DAFs will depend on the relative sizes of tax minimizing, DAF saving, and those inspired to give more because of DAFs.

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Big Tax Benefits Of Donor Advised Funds

Time to share my latest personal and client tax-saving and do-gooder planning strategy.

Why this strategy has been around for years, Im just now focusing on it for my family and my clients.

Its called funding a charitable Donor Advised Fund or

This involves setting up a new brokerage account and funding it with cash or ideally appreciated securities. It potentially has both short and long-term tax advantages while gifting to needy causes of your choice.

Recently, a client of mine with a big heart for multiple charities donated a portion of two big investment winning securities from her brokerage account to a new Donor Advised Fund in her family name. She will get a huge tax deduction that she can carry forward up to five years to offset taxable income.

She also didnt have pay any capital gains tax and wont when they are sold under the DAF umbrella. While the money is still invested in the new account she can make gifts to any qualifying charity with a couple of clicks on an app. The money she doesnt donate this year stays invested and could grow until she gifts it. She can give part or all of it away and if she has a balance at death she can give it then or let her boys take control of the future gifting.

What are the advantages of a Donor Advised account?

A charitable donor-advised fund account offers a uniquely flexible way to manage your charitable giving. With this account, you can:

What types of assets can you donate?

How To Improve Morale At Work: Groundswell Feature In Lifehack

The Sharp Donor-Advised Fund For Easier Giving

When workplace morale is high, it affects employee engagement and productivity in positive ways. Yet as companies pursue increasingly remote and decentralized operating models, the happiness quotient can be difficult to maintain. That may leave many leaders wondering how to improve morale at work.

According to the article 11 Ways To Boost Workplace Morale, published on Lifehack, there are many ways to boost morale and help employees feel more connected to the organization and its core principles and values. For many employees, particularly millennials and Gen Z, its not just a matter of phoning it in and collecting a paycheck. They want to feel that what they do matters and that the companies they work for care about making the world a better place.

Thats why corporate giving programs are so important. In fact, Groundswell was mentioned in the Lifehack article as a platform that allows companies to turn donor-advised funds into an employee benefit.

Following, weve provided a brief rundown of some of the highlights from the article: MeasureIts important to gather feedback so that you understand whats working and whats not. Provide open-ended questions and allow anonymous responses to invite candid responses. Exit interviews are a good way to get constructive criticism.Communication

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Look At Retirement Assets

  • Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution of IRA assets.Whether itemizing or claiming the standard deduction, individuals age 70½ and older can direct up to $100,000 per year tax-free from their Individual Retirement Accounts to operating charities through QCDs.1 By reducing the IRA balance, a QCD may also reduce the donor’s taxable income in future years, lower the donor’s taxable estate, and limit IRA beneficiaries’ tax liability.
  • Use a charitable deduction to help offset the tax liability of a retirement account withdrawal.Those over age 59½ who take withdrawals from retirement plan accounts in 2021 may use deductions for their charitable donations to help offset income tax liability on the withdrawals. As with the above strategy, this offers the additional benefits of potentially reducing a donor’s taxable estate and limiting tax liability for account beneficiaries.
  • Convert retirement accounts to Roth IRAs.Individuals who have tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as traditional IRAs, can use charitable deductions to help offset the tax liability on the amount converted to a Roth IRA. The primary benefits of a Roth IRA are tax-free growth, potentially tax-free withdrawals , no annual required minimum distribution, and the elimination of tax liability for beneficiaries . Be sure to talk with a tax professional or financial advisor before deciding to do a Roth IRA conversion.
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