Generally, the phrase "planned giving" refers to the various methods available to make charitable gifts, typically as part of an individual's overall estate plan. There are many ways to make charitable gifts. This and future articles will discuss some of them.
The simplest method of giving to charity is an outright transfer of cash to the charitable organization, usually accomplished by writing a check to ensure that there is a record for income tax reporting purposes. Alternatively, the charity may supply a written receipt for the gift.
Donations of cash that land in the collection basket at Assumption Church each Sunday are technically deductible as charitable contributions on an income tax return (if the giver itemizes deductions). Unfortunately, though, the burden of proof to substantiate the deduction is on the taxpayer. Without a receipt from Assumption acknowledging the amount, the giver may find a claimed deduction for cash donations to the weekly collection basket will be disallowed on audit by the tax authorities. Hence the wisdom of writing a check. If, nevertheless, cash is the vehicle of giving, then regular use of the church envelopes allows Assumption to keep a record of donations for each parishioner for the year.
Questions? Call Dan Overbeck, Parishioner and Retired Finance Council Member, at 223-8963.