Our Gift to You - Financial Considerations at Year-End

Monday, December 18, 2017

As the year draws to a close, you may be thinking about ways you can shore up your financial situation, or improve upon your planning for college, retirement and beyond. As a small gift to you, we have compiled a short list of things you might consider. Thank you for your generosity to St. Pius X, and may the New Year bring you many blessings!

  1. Make a solid plan for college savings—consider a 529 plan. If you don't have one, start one today. If you do have one, could you add an additional $100 or $200 a month? Treat college savings like a monthly bill.
  2. Contribute to an IRA or ROTH. If you are under age 50, the amount you can contribute in 2017 is $5,500. If you are over age 50 you can contribute $6,500. Think you earn too much for a ROTH? Think again. You are probably eligible to make a non-deductible contribution to an IRA and then can convert it to a ROTH.
  3. Those over age 70.5 years old are required to take money out of IRAs, 401Ks and other retirement plans each year. Did you know that you can make a "qualified chartable distribution" directly to St. Pius X and this required amount is no longer taxable income to you?
  4. This was a good year for many in the stock market. If you hold mutual funds in a non-retirement account you might be subject to some capital gains payment prior to year end. Check to see if there is any tax-loss harvesting that can be done to reduce taxes.
  5. Have you maxed out your 401K or 403B contributions? For 2017 the maximum contribution to a 401K is $18,000. For those over age 50 the amount jumps to $24,000. Are you self-employed? You can shelter even more money using a SEP or SIMPLE IRA.
  6. Boost your charitable giving while receiving a tax credit. GRACE Scholars allow you to redirect your state tax dollars to need-based scholarships at St. Pius X. When you preregister at www. Gracescholars.org (absolute deadline is December 28) and are approved, you will receive a State of Georgia tax credit for your contribution, which is better than a deduction because it is a dollar for dollar reduction of taxes due. In addition, your gift also qualifies as a contribution on your federal tax return.
  7. Do you have highly appreciated company stock? Or shares of Coke or Home Depot you have received from parents or grandparents? You can gift these shares tax free to St. Pius X and receive a tax deduction. Gifts of appreciated property to a public charity are deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.