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Question on Charity Tax Laws
Old 11-06-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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Question on Charity Tax Laws

I was wondering what would be the best case for my wife and I when giving to a charity next month. Would it be better to give it in just one of our names or each one of us to give the same amount with one in her name and one in my name??

Is there any advantage for us tax wise or any opinions or suggestions for us?

Thank you.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:54 PM   #2
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Plug the gift into TurboTax both ways & see if your tax amount is different. But, I doubt it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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If all of these are true:
- you plan to file your taxes as Married Filing Separately
- at least one of you will itemize deductions
- you do not live in a community property state (or if you do you will make the donation from your separate property)
then it makes sense to donate in one spouse's name. If you don't meet one or more of these conditions, then it makes no difference from a tax perspective.

If only one itemizes, then it should be in that person's name. If both itemize, it's probably better for the one with the higher marginal rate to make the donation, though if the donation is large enough to push his/her rate below the other spouse's, then you might find it's better to split it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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If you file a joint return as most married people do then it doesn't matter a bit.

Also, be aware that your itemized deductions, which would include your charitable contributions, state and local income and property taxes, mortgage interest, excess medical deductions, etc.... would need to exceed $24,400 ($25,700 if one over 65 or $27,000 if both over 65) in 2019 in order for you to get any tax benefit from your charitable contributions.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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If you give 2 donations under 2 names, expect solicitations in both names next year and thereafter, as well as dual solicitations from whoever they sell the list to. I purchased some tickets for a charity fund raiser dinner a few years back in my SIL's name, but at my address, because I couldn't attend. I get multiple requests year round for him and myself at my address.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:01 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for your help once again. We will have to make a decision on how we want to handle this.
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