A tax reform bill approved by both Houses of Congress has been signed into law by President Trump. Although the tax break for charitable contributions is one of the few deductions retained under the new tax bill, other changes will reduce its usefulness for certain itemizers. Because the standard deduction will be doubled and many other deductions will be limited or disappear, it is expected that fewer taxpayers will itemize their deductible expenses and, of those who do, fewer will receive an additional tax benefit for all their charitable gifts.
For those who do currently itemize, one strategy to consider is to accelerate some or all of your planned gifts for 2018 and make them in 2017. This can be accomplished by simply paying your 2018 church pledge before the end of this year, or by using a donor-advised fund to set aside these charitable dollars now. Whatever your situation, now that the new law’s final provisions are being made public, this is a good time to review your own prior year tax returns, and consider how changes to the tax law will impact you.
- Gary Kidwell
Christian Church Foundation President