Insights + Resources

Charitable Contribution Limits

Jul 3, 2019

Giving a Gift
What are the limits for Donor-Advised Funds and Private Foundations?

Among the big changes in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) were new limits on standard and itemized deductions. These limits and restrictions created new hurdles when planning deductions with tax advantages in mind. An exception was charitable deduction, which remains an option for high-income individuals looking to create a donation for the charity of their choice.

When making a charitable donation, two avenues to consider are donor-advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations (PFs).

Donor-Advised Funds and Private Foundations.

Public charities establish DAFs as a philanthropic vehicle; the donor can allow the donation to potentially grow over time and advise on grants from the fund (assuming compliance approval), all while having an immediate tax benefit for that initial contribution. Private foundations offer total control in terms of the grants you’ve made and their distribution.

In contrast, a private foundation tends to be larger in size (sometimes in the millions of dollars) in comparison to DAFs (which can be set up with as little as $5,000) and generally represent a larger and less-flexible method of charitable giving.

How much can you give?

There are different tax considerations to keep in mind. Your limit in contributing to a private foundation is 30% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in the year you make that donation. On the other hand, the same limit for a DAF is up to 60% of your AGI.

What about long-term appreciated marketable securities? Your limit to a private foundation is 20% of AGI for the year of the donation. For a DAF, it’s 30% of AGI.

Advantages to Consider.

There are advantages to both private foundations and donor-advised funds, both in terms of tax deductions and the control that you may exercise over the use of the funds.

However, you should also be aware that the I.R.S. is on the lookout for those who may use the flexibility of donor-advised funds to create improper distributions, which may, for instance, directly benefit a donor’s family. For this reason, among others, it’s best to have several conversations with a tax and financial professional, who can both assist you in the creation of any such entity as well as help you manage your charitable giving. Our team of trusted financial advisors in Charlotte, NC would be happy to discuss details further with you today.

Tags: ,

More Insights

May 29, 2020

Information vs. instinct. When it comes to investment choices, many people believe they have a “knack” for choosing good investments. But what exactly is that “knack” based on? The fact is, the choices we make with our assets can be strongly influenced by factors, many of them emotional, that we may not even be aware … Continue reading “Making Investment Choices”

May 27, 2020

In corporate America, pension plans are fading away. Only 16% of Fortune 500 companies offered them to full-time employees in 2018, according to Willis Towers Watson research. In contrast, legal, medical, accounting, and engineering firms are keeping the spirit of the traditional pension plan alive by adopting cash balance plans.1

May 25, 2020

I’d like for you to meet my friend, Hugh. He’s a retired film stuntman who, after a long career, is enjoying his retirement. Some of what he’s enjoying about his retirement is sharing part of his accumulated wealth with his family, specifically his wife and two sons. Like many Americans, Hugh likes to make sure … Continue reading “The Gift Tax”

May 22, 2020

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald The economic struggles in our country are among the worst we’ve ever seen. In April, a record 20 million people lost their jobs, and 36 million people have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March. Record drops in consumer … Continue reading “Better Times Are Coming”

May 20, 2020

You can sum up the appeal of a Roth IRA in three words: federal tax benefit. Potential earnings in a backdoor Roth IRA grow tax free as long as the owner abides by the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) rules, and withdrawals are federally tax free once you reach age 59½ and have held the Roth … Continue reading “Backdoor Roth IRA”

Insights + Resources >