Charitable donations could reduce taxesSubmitted: 03/15/2019
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen

Charitable donations could reduce taxes
RHINELANDER - People want to keep their tax bills down. For some, a charitable donation might be the way to do it.
Republicans celebrated sweeping tax measures in late 2017. Tax manager at Northland CPAs Matt Whalen said it made it more difficult to write off charitable donations. Despite this, he said donations can still turn into tax deductions.

"From my chair that's a win-win for the both the individual and the charitable organization," said Matt Whalen.

Whalen said donating clothing, household items, or even vehicles can put money in your pocket.

"You are allowed a tax deduction for the value of those items, plus any mileage you incur helping these businesses out," said Whalen.

Mike Handrick is a chartered advisor in philanthropy. He said almost every family can gain something by giving back.

"Your name doesn't have to be Bill Gates to implement charitable planned giving strategies," said Handrick.

Handrick encourages people to donate while they're alive to not only get tax deductions, but also to see their legacy first hand. He said a widow was able to donate her home to her church through a Retained Life Estate.

"[This] essentially means she gives away [the home], but keeps the keys until she passes," said Handrick.

With the new tax code, Handrick said charities were nervous they would get less support. So far, he hasn't seen that be the case.

"You realize that most people give from the heart and not the wallet anyway," said Handrick.
Production Team Leader Dennis Shimeck said the average donation provides nearly three hours of job training, often for people who struggle to find work.

"People who still want to work up until their 80s have worked here and we've hired them on also," said Shimeck.

When people donate, Shimeck hands them a signed receipt for their taxes.

"On the donation receipt you will determine what you donated, and the values of those items," said Shimeck.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as donating and getting a tax deduction. Do some research or talk to a financial planner to learn more about how donations can change your tax bill.

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