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Taxes: What the Proposed Legislation Might Mean for Charitable Donations

December 14, 2017

Over the past several weeks, there’s been a lot of news about proposed changes to tax legislation that is likely to affect nearly all of us. These changes also affect Trinity, because for many, charitable giving is more possible because of savings in the way of tax deductions. The way you are able to deduct charitable gifts from your taxes is likely to change, and we won’t know the full effect of these changes until new legislation is finalized and enacted.

For the remainder of 2017, there are some ways to maximize the tax benefits you receive for your charitable gifts to Trinity and to other organizations, while anticipating changes that may come as soon as next year.  We recommend that you speak with your tax professional to determine the right strategy for you:

  1. If you itemize your tax deductions, accelerating your capital or annual pledge installments to Trinity before the end of 2017 may be beneficial should this legislation pass. If you made a multi-year pledge, and are in a position to complete your pledge commitment early, you may find it beneficial to pay the amounts scheduled for future years before the end of 2017.
  2. Another way to get an income tax deduction in the year 2017 for gifts that Trinity will not receive until 2018 or later years is to contribute to a donor advised fund (“DAF”) in the year 2017.  Establish the fund with a charity that administers such funds, and then recommend grants from the fund to charities in the future years.  Some organizations will open funds for as little as $5,000, and will permit grants as small as $50.
  3. The tax bills as currently drafted permit individuals over age 70.5 to make tax-free charitable gifts from their IRAs. Gifts from IRAs are likely to be very attractive in the year 2018 and in later years, but you must be over the age of 70.5 in order to qualify for this benefit. 
  4. Contributions of appreciated securities might make sense with the stock market at a record high.

Speak with your tax professional about the impact on your situation and whether you should give more this year.

If Trinity’s Stewardship Office can assist you in any way, please contact me, Adam Dawkins, or by calling the parish office (617)-536-0944.

As always, thank you for your prayerful stewardship of Trinity Church. 

Adam Dawkins is Trinity Church's Director of Stewardship