End of Year Tips to Help EEF and Lower Your Taxes

A bull market, increased caps on charitable contributions, and expected tax legislation changes make 2021 a great time to make a planned gift to The Eye & Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh.

6 ways to help The Eye & Ear Foundation (EEF) and save on taxes:

1. For 2021, the cap on some charitable cash donations is lifted from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100%, making now a great time to fund a larger-than-normal, one-time gift to EEF. Gifts could endow scholarships, advance research, enable building renovations, and support innovative programs.

2. The federal government requires individuals 72 and older to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from their IRA every year. The RMD is taxed as income, which could bump the recipient into a higher tax bracket. Fortunately, you may avoid most tax repercussions—simply donate your RMD directly to a qualified charity such as EEF. And individuals who are age 70½ and older may transfer up to $100,000 per year ($200,000 for married couples) directly to a charity, freeing up after-tax dollars that you would normally use to make your charitable donations for other uses.

3. Update the beneficiary designation on your IRA, retirement plan, donor advised fund, life insurance policy, or annuity to include EEF. Many life insurance policies include a one percent charitable giving benefit rider that creates a gift to a charity of the holder’s choosing at the time of death. This benefit comes at no extra charge to the owner but must be designated separately from their other beneficiary designations.

4. Create a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that will pay you a fixed income for life while having the added benefit of helping clinicians and researchers. CGAs are not available in all states. If you are interested in supporting research on ophthalmology or otolaryngology with a CGA, contact EEF about how to start one through the University of Pittsburgh.

5. With the stock and housing markets on the rise in the last year, many portfolios are ripe with unrealized capital gains. Experts expect taxes on appreciated assets to increase in 2022. Rather than selling those assets, lock in the gains by donating the appreciated assets directly to EEF. You avoid the capital gains tax, could be eligible for an income tax deduction for the full value of the gift, and it frees up cash you would have otherwise given to charity for other things such as a reinvesting in the market.

Making a gift of cash (including those gifts made by check, credit card or debit card) allows donors to take advantage of a $300 ($600 for married couples filing jointly) tax deduction for non-itemizers that is scheduled to expire at the end of 2021.

Learn more about planned giving on our website. If you have any questions, call our office at 412-864-1300 or email our CEO, Lawton Snyder, at lawtons@eyeandear.org.