Tis the Season

Tis the season for both holiday and year end giving and whether you are charitably minded or you are doing it for tax reasons, Congress just gave you a little Christmas present.  The IRA charitable rollover, originally enacted in 2006 was extended to be available for the 2014 tax year.   The IRA charitable rollover allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their IRA without treating the distribution as taxable income.In addition to the IRA charitable rollover, Congress also extended the enhanced charitable deduction for food inventory and conservation donations.  These two are meant to increase the pace of land conservation by farmers and ranchers and to encourage donations to food banks.While it is frustrating that these items weren’t made permanent, you should not neglect to take advantage of these laws for 2014.A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the reasons why people give to charity.  These reasons include the fact that prominent individuals support the cause or the recognition provided by the charity.  Other reasons may include the tax benefits, a passion for a particular cause, or teaching your family to give.  Any of these are great reasons.  A gift of even a small percentage of your estate could be a real benefit to others while still leaving a legacy to your own family.Charitable giving options come in all shapes and sizes.  There are small local organizations such as a local food back or school district foundation.  There are educational institutions such as a college or university.  There are faith based organizations such as churches.  There are large national charities or local chapters of those charities such as the Special Olympics or the Alzheimer’s Association.Whatever your reason and whatever your cause, studies have shown that giving makes us happier.  As we celebrate Christmas and the start of the New Year, I would encourage you to give in whatever way you can.  I probably won’t be writing again until after the holidays so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”Mark 12:41-44.  Watch the video here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1G-aZIempw