Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Charitable Giving: New End-of-Year Tax Opportunities for Donors

A Special Gift Opportunity for 2005 Only

Chestertown, MD, October 19, 2005 — When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, tens of thousands of Americans were left homeless. Thousands of Americans volunteered and gave to support those in desperate need.

As the recovery process began, Congress recognized that all American charities would need support. In order to assist charities in this time of great need, Congress changed the charitable deduction rules. Cash gifts for any purpose given between August 28 and December 31, 2005, are deductible up to double the normal charitable level. Cash gifts for the rest of 2005 will be generally deductible up to your full income.

Major Cash Gifts in 2005

Some of our friends may consider this to be an excellent time for a special major cash gift. Keep in mind, your gift does not need to be specifically for Katrina relief. You may wish to complete a pledge to Washington College or support a special purpose such as the Washington Fund or the 1782 Society. We are appreciative that some of our friends may wish to make a much larger gift, possibly doubling the level of their normal contribution.

IRA Gift Withdrawals Possible

Another option made possible by the change in rules for the last three months of 2005 is an IRA withdrawal gift. You may have a large IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other qualified retirement plan. With the ability to deduct charitable gifts up to your full income, you can take a withdrawal from your IRA, give that amount to the College and take a deduction for the full value. Those who choose to do an IRA withdrawal gift will either be from a state that does not have an income tax or one that allows a charitable deduction similar to the federal rules. Some states follow federal laws and may permit the 100% deduction for the last three months of this year.

Most IRA donors will also want to keep their federal adjusted gross income under $145,950. Above this amount, there may be a reduction in the value of your itemized federal deductions.

Act soon for greatest benefit

Time spent reviewing your tax and financial affairs this fall may bring unexpected benefits to you as well as your charitable interests. Check with your advisors about the best ways to take advantage of special giving opportunities. Keep in mind that everyone's circumstances are different and state and federal tax laws may affect your plans. As always, we will be pleased to assist you in any way possible.

Contact Don Moore
Senior Development Officer
Major and Planned Gifts

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