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  December 10, 2001

Foundation Official Offers Tips for Year-End Giving

The end of the calendar year is a time when many consider the benefits of making charitable donations in order to maximize tax savings.

"No matter what your income," says Nancy Schroeder, associate vice president of the UConn Foundation, "if you itemize deductions on your tax return you can almost always lower the amount you owe."

Schroeder offers some tips for year-end giving:

  • For those wondering whether to sell depreciated stocks or other securities they hold, as a result of the difficult stock market climate this year, instead of simply absorbing the loss at this time, Schroeder suggests selling them, taking the tax deduction for the loss, and giving the proceeds to charity. The tax benefit from the charitable donation may further offset any other capital gains.

  • Instead of taking just the standard deduction on your tax return, consider doubling or tripling your charitable contributions in alternate years, she advises. This way, you may be able to deduct enough to itemize every second or third year.

  • If you would like to make a contribution and receive a charitable income tax deduction this year, but can't afford to give up the income from a particular asset, consider a life-income gift - a charitable gift annuity or charitable trust. Based on your age and IRS calculations, says Schroeder, you could receive income for life for yourself and/or another individual, and receive a charitable income tax deduction as well.

  • If you have a vacation home or other real estate you are not using, plan now for a gift of the property next year and you may not only avoid any capital gains tax, but also receive a charitable deduction for the property's full fair-market value.

The decision, cautions Schroeder, ultimately depends on each individual's particular financial and tax situation. "Contact your tax advisor to determine what will work to your best advantage," she urges.

If you have questions about making gifts or how to set up a gift to provide a steady income stream plus tax benefits, contact the Office of Gift Planning at (860) 486-5000 or by e-mail:

Art Sorrentino