Friends of Casco Bay is creating a $1.5 million fund to be used over the next ten years to understand how Casco Bay is being affected by climate change. We will launch and maintain three oceanographic Continuous Monitoring Stations at three coastal sites around the Bay to collect data on water quality conditions. Communicating those changing conditions to our community is paramount for advocating for policies and actions needed to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. You can read all about this work and the fund to support it here.
The new tax plan passed by Congress this year will have serious consequences for donors who deduct charitable gifts. We want to be sure you have a sense of how this may affect your giving to Friends of Casco Bay.
If you have questions about the new tax plan, we strongly recommend you talk with your financial advisor.
In a nut shell:
Effective for taxable years 2018 through 2025, the standard deduction has been doubled to $24,000 for married couples ($12,000 for individuals) and the personal exemption is eliminated.* The overall limitation on itemized deductions is eliminated. —And the deduction for charitable gifts is retained and expanded to allow taxpayers to deduct up to 60% of their adjusted gross income for gifts of cash to nonprofits.**
What does this mean for this year?
In 2018 and beyond, if your yearly itemized deductions are not likely to exceed the increased standard exemption you may wish to make a large charitable gift prior to year-end (December 31, 2017) in order to maximize the charitable income tax deduction in 2017.
What does the new tax plan mean for future years?
For the same reasons, in future years, clients may also benefit by bunching multiple years of charitable gifts into a single year. This strategy may work particularly well if you give annually—you may want to contribute the charitable sum to a Donor Advised Fund and then make grants periodically in future years according to your original giving plan. If you would like to talk with Friends of Casco Bay about planned giving, please email or call Will Everitt (willeveritt [at] cascobay [dot] org, (207) 671-1315).
The implications of this sweeping tax act are still abstract and uncertain. We will continue to monitor and assess the potential effects on nonprofits and governmental agencies.
Again, we strongly recommend you talk with your financial advisor. Thank you for being charitably minded.
* “The Tax cuts and Jobs Act,” an “Advanced Planning” report by UBS, pp. 3-4, December 2017.