April 15 is near — and the tax man cometh. Never mind your ducks, are your deductions in order? Many options exist for charitable giving that can affect your tax bottom line. Some options can reduce estate taxes too.
Joan Kroc, who had inherited the McDonald's fortune, left the Salvation Army $1.5 billion in her will. That gift became the largest one-time charitable donation in U.S. history.
You don't have to have billions, millions or even thousands to help your favorite Lutheran ministry. Through the ELCA Foundation, you can set up a charitable gift annuity with as little as $1,000. Using various gift vehicles, you can also give while you're alive — money, real estate or stocks.
The Foundation has gift planners in Chicago and regionally who work with you at no cost to find ways to give to your favorite ministries, protect your income and reduce your tax liability.
The Foundation isn't a legal department that writes your will. "But we will counsel you in terms of how to make gifts to ministry and then urge you to consult with an allied professional who understands gifting and estates," said Donald Hallberg, executive director. Then you'll have what you need to see a lawyer.
For more information, call (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2970, or visit www.elca.org/fo. Some ELCA agencies will work with you directly on such planning too. Contact them for more information.
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