Cash, Checks, and Credit Cards
Gifts of cash are the most common form of contribution to Compassion & Choices. A gift of cash is easy to make, and the gift is not subject to gift or estate tax. A contribution of cash or by a check that is postmarked in December is deductible for that tax year—even if Compassion & Choices receives it in January—provided the account against which the check was written had sufficient funds to cover it in December. A contribution by credit card must be made by December 31 in order to be deductible for that tax year.
A cash gift entitles you to a charitable income-tax deduction for the amount of your gift. You may deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income for the year of your gift. If all deductible gifts in a year exceed the 60% limit, you may carry the excess amount over as a deduction for up to five more years.
Example: Joan has an adjusted gross income of $100,000 this year. She uses some of her cash investments to make a special gift of $75,000. She may deduct $60,000 this year and carry forward the remaining $15,000. Assuming her income the following year is at least $25,000, she could deduct the amount carried forward on her return for that year.
Pledges provide you an opportunity to make a larger gift than you otherwise thought possible by committing your gift over a period of three to five years, or more in some cases. Ideally, your pledge should be documented in writing.
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Sam Young, ESQ-LSW
Compassion & Choices
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