Generous, But Not to a Fault: A Guide to Tax-Efficient Charitable Giving

The onset of the holiday season stokes our desire to give, not only to the people we care about but to the charitable organizations we support. And since the holidays coincide with the end of the tax year, this is an ideal time to take steps to ensure that the heart — a person’s charitable inclinations — aligns with the head, whereby a person’s charitable giving efforts are maximized for tax efficiency.

“There are tax consequences, good and bad, with charitable donations, and there are ways to do things more efficiently to help keep more money in your pocket and put more money in the charity’s pocket as well,” says certified financial planner Joe Clemens of Wisdom Wealth Strategies in Denver, Colo.

To make charitable giving a win-win for the donor and the recipient alike, consider the following suggestions from the Financial Planning Association, the largest organization of personal finance experts in the U.S.:

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