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Charitable giving is an excellent way for individuals and/or businesses to help others while taking advantage of additional tax breaks. Billions of dollars are given each year in the U.S. to a wide range of charities providing valuable community services. While large corporations may be responsible for a large portion of the donated funds, small businesses and individuals also make a large impact with their contributions.
3 Ways Small Businesses Can Donate to Charities
While cash donations are one of the most common ways to give to charities, small businesses may also provide support in other ways.
Instead of donating money, your business will be able to make an impact by donating their time to a local charity, such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
Time spent volunteering for a charity does not qualify for a tax deduction. However, some expenses resulting from the volunteering, such as mileage, parking and tolls, trips, uniforms and out-of-pocket expenses can be claimed.
2. Host a Charity Drive
If you see a need in their local community, consider helping by starting a drive to collect needed items, such as a holiday toy drive or canned food drive.
3. Take Advantage of Local Sponsorship Opportunities
Local youth organizations and groups are often looking for sponsorship. Consider sponsoring a sports team or local community event. You will also get a little advertising and community goodwill out of your involvement.
Tips for Small Business Giving
While there are no set rules on how or how much you should give to charity, below are a few helpful tips to help your business get started.
1. Find a Cause That is Meaningful to Your Company or Employees
All types of charities are looking for support, which means it is easy to find one that resonates with your business culture and employees. This way, you will be more personally connected to your contribution, which will mean something to you and your employees.
2. Research Charities You Are Interested In
Take some time to learn about the different charities you may wish to contribute to. Through some research, you will be able to find out how much of the contributions go into their programming, what kind of services they provide to the community, and the impact your donation may have. This will give you a clearer picture of how you are helping through your contribution.
3. Build a Relationship With Your Chosen Charities
Even if you only contribute to your charity once a year, you want to stay connected and find out other ways you are able to assist throughout the year. This is a great way to stay connected with your community, network, and build relationships with other businesses.
4. Get Your Employees Involved
Have your employees volunteer with the charity or offer contribution matching for employees who donate independently. This will help your employees connect with the charity and provide the charity with much-needed assistance throughout the year.
It is important to remember that every dollar counts for charities, so even if your business only contributes a small amount, it will still be making a huge impact on the community.
Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution
A qualified charitable distribution can be an efficient way to meet your philanthropic goals while also providing additional tax-related benefits. A QCD allows individuals who are 73 years or older to donate up to $100,000 each to one or more charities directly from a traditional IRA.
Those 73 or older who are required to take an annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) can have these Qualified Charitable Distributions fulfill that obligation in a more tax-efficient manner, rather than accepting your RMD and then donating the money. If an RMD was taken and then given to a charitable organization, subject to certain limitations, the amount withdrawn and then contributed would be deducted for income tax purposes, but would be included in your AGI.
When you opt for a Qualified Charitable Distribution, the amount is also not taxed as income, but it also is not included in your AGI, which can affect a host of tax-related items, such as Medicare premiums and your state taxes. With a QCD, you must send the money directly to the qualified charity.
This is a good option for those who do not need the income from their Required Minimum Distribution and who want to give back.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
LPL Tracking #1-05377994
1 “Small Business Guide to Charitable Giving and Tax Deductions,” Business News Daily, https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10470-small-business-guide-charity-donations.html
2 “Six Best Practices For Small Businesses To Give Charitably,” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/krisputnamwalkerly/2018/12/17/6-best-practices-for-small-businesses-to-give-charitably/?sh=60dcdffa2c98