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In addition to “providing living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity, and love, charitable gifts to the St. John’s Lutheran Ministries Foundation can provide special tax benefits.
Gifts of Cash: There is no easier way to garner a charitable deduction and support St. John’s than by simply writing a check. If you itemize your tax deductions, gifts of cash may be fully deductible.
Gifts of Appreciated Stocks or Bonds: Giving long term appreciated stocks or bonds avoids the capital gains tax and will enable you to receive an immediate tax deduction based on the full fair market value of the securities on the date of transfer. By donating mandatory minimum IRA withdrawals, you may be able to neutralize the tax impact if you itemize your deductions.
Gifts of Home or Farm: If you plan to leave your home or a portion your farm to St. John’s in your will, creating a charitable remainder trust now will allow you to live in and control your home and farm as long as you live, but still give you immediate income tax benefits that you would not receive if you simply let it pass through your will.
Gifts of Other Real Estate: If you have owned rental property, farm land or other real estate for many years, a charitable gift of that real estate can be especially tax advantageous. Sale of the property could result in capital gains on any appreciation and ordinary income on any depreciation recaptured. If given to the St. John’s Lutheran Ministries Foundation instead, you may be able to avoid the tax and, at the same time, realize a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the real estate.
Gifts of Life Insurance: Naming the St. John’s Lutheran Ministries Foundation as the owner and beneficiary of an established or new life insurance policy usually offers you a tax advantage in the year you make the gift. If the policy is paid up, the charitable deduction will be the cash value at the time of the gift. If the policy is not paid up you continue to pay the annual premiums, they will become tax deductible to you each year.
Life Income Gifts: A life income gift allows you to transfer cash or assets now, and yet continue to receive income from the cash, stock or other property contributed. A life income gift can allow you to (1) increase your income for life; (2) receive a generous charitable contribution deduction at year end; and, (3) if you contribute stock, avoid or delay any capital gains tax on the appreciation. A life income gift is often made through a contract or trust arrangement called a “gift annuity” or a “unitrust”.” With a unitrust, you receive annually a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the assets in the trust year. The amount you receive will vary from year to year, based upon how the trust’s investments perform. With an annuity, you will receive a fixed amount from the annuity each year.
Bequests: If you desire to support but feel unsure of your resources today, consider naming St. John’s in your will for any fixed or proportionate amount. For some, the federal estate tax can still take approximately 35% of one’s estate at the time of death to the extent the estate exceeds $5,000,000. Unless Congress acts, beginning in 2013, estates over $1,000,000 will also be subjected to estate tax. Regardless, a bequest is a great way to leave a legacy if you have reasons to worry about your financial security today.