Some clients may want to give big now because the charitable gift tax write-off is among the deductions that may become a casualty of tax reform. But tax rates for the wealthy could jump next year, in which case they'd want to set aside deductions for 2013, when the deductions potentially would be worth more.
Hurry up! No, wait! Well, which is it? It all depends on your giving strategy. If you want to take advantage of current charitable giving options you better “hurry up” and get those gifts lined out. But if you are apprehensive about a possible increase in your taxes for next year, you may decide it’s best to “wait” and set those gifts aside for 2013 deductions.
The rallying cry of “hurry up and wait” regarding charitable giving was sounded by Reuters in a recent article titled “Charitable giving in unclear tax times.” One reason for playing “wait and see” is that we are still in the dark when it comes to the tax implications 2013 will bring. In fact, that darkness may not lift until long after the election, especially with retroactive tax policies a possibility.
Nevertheless, giving is easy, as far as major financial moves go. So you can wait and see if some definitive answer pops up before year’s end. If 2013 will be a bad year tax-wise, and the gift can wait until 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day, then the deduction can do the most good to offset new taxation. But, on the other hand; you might not want to waste the giving opportunity this year, and a deduction for 2012, by that minute.
Unfortunately, your legal, financial and tax advisors likely do not have a crystal ball to help you make the call. So what will your giving strategy be for this year and beyond?
Reference: Reuters (October 18, 2012) “Charitable giving in unclear tax times”