December 1, 2017

How to make the most of your charitable giving come tax time

Here are some ways to make the most out of your charitable giving come tax time. Charitable donations receive tax credits at both the federal and provincial levels. On the federal side, the first $200 of annual charitable donations receives a 15 percent credit and then 29 percent for cumulative donations above $200. Donors who have income subject to the 33 percent top federal rate (for income over $202,800) and who donate more than $200 annually benefit from a 33 per cent tax credit on such donations. You may also want to consider “tax-gain donating,” which is to use capital gains you’ve realized this year (and up to 3 previous years) and donating the winning stocks or mutual funds “in-kind” to charity. That way, you get the donation tax receipt, pay no tax on the capital gain to date and increase your adjusted cost base of the security repurchased back up to fair market value, reducing your ultimate tax bill on a future sale. Remember that this month is also the last chance for “first-time donors” to take advantage of the temporary First-Time Donor’s Super Credit, which provides an additional 25 per cent non-refundable tax credit on up to $1,000 of donations.

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