Like most people, you want to give to the causes you care about, and want to balance between giving today and planning for future needs. Whatever you are able to give today helps, and your future plans do too. Fortunately, there are many choices that allow you to help with our work, both today and tomorrow.
There Are Many Opportunities to Donate Through Planned Gifts
Your donation to HSVC is an investment in our community to help us save abused animals of Ventura County and support other animal benefit programs. We appreciate your gifts to support and strengthen HSVC’s many excellent programs. By structuring future gifts with tax benefits and income opportunities in mind, you may be able to achieve some additional financial goals as well. Several options for giving are listed below to help you plan for your personal needs.
Jolene Hoffman, Shelter Director of the Humane Society of Ventura County, and our financial advisors can help you to develop a giving plan that meets your individual needs. Call HSVC at (805) 646-6505. Appointments are available by request.
Tax-Wise Planned Giving Options
Bequest: This is the most popular form of planned giving because it is relatively straight forward. To make a bequest all you have to do is make a simple designation of a given amount or a percentage of your estate that you would like donated in your will or trust. It costs nothing during your lifetime and is easily revocable if your situation changes. Because there are many “Humane Societies”, be sure that your designation clearly states the “Humane Society of Ventura County” if you would like your gift to help your LOCAL Humane Society.
Outright Gifts Outright gifts allow donors to see gifts at work during their lifetime. All outright gifts can result in income tax savings, but donors may realize multiple benefits by carefully structuring such gifts. Donors may give unrestricted funds or choose to target a gift to a particular program. We offer various programs below as structured gifts of Cash, Personal Property, Real Estate, Securities, Closely Held Stock, and Founders Stock.
Cash – Always The simplest way to give
A cash donation is always greatly appreciated. If you wish to make a straightforward gift of cash, your gift is tax deductible in the year in which it is made. You can deduct an amount up to to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Amounts over 50% can be carried over for use during the next five years.
Personal Property -Your valuable possessions can benefit HSVC
Any type of asset can be accepted by HSVC as a charitable contribution, including personal property such as art, jewelry, and antiques. However, donors can deduct the fair market value of the gift only if it is related to HSVC’s function as an animal care institution. For gifts that HSVC must sell to support its animal care mission, donors can deduct only the cost basis. Call us to discuss the appraisal and classification of a donation of personal property. (The restriction regarding direct relationship to HSVC’s animal mission does not apply to bequests, only to lifetime gifts.) Your estate can deduct the fair market value of any bequest of personal property.
Securities – Enjoy double tax savings
Gifts of appreciated securities can provide substantial income tax savings. If you have held securities for more than a year, you are allowed to deduct the market value of the securities without paying tax on the appreciation, for an amount up to 30% of your adjusted gross income in the year you donate. Amounts over 30% can be used over the next five years. Transfer the stock to HSVC to make full use of potential tax savings.
If you wish to donate stock that has fallen in value, you should sell the stock at a loss and donate the proceeds. The loss can be used to offset gains, and you can receive the normal charitable deduction for donating the proceeds.
Real Estate – Maximize the value of your property regardless of the market
A gift of real estate is often an excellent way to support HSVC. During the year that your transfer title to HSVC, you can take a charitable income tax deduction for up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. Amounts over 30% can be carried over for use during the next five years. To take advantage of potential tax deductions, it is important that you transfer title to appreciated real estate that you have held more than a year to HSVC rather than selling and donating the proceeds. You can then use the fair market value to establish your charitable deduction without being subject to capital gains tax on a sale.
Real estate gifts can offer many benefits to donors, but they can be complicated. We ask that you discuss your situation with us in advance of making your gift. HSVC financial advisors or your own financial advisor can evaluate your potential give to decide if the gift can be accepted, with marketability an important factor, and can insure that you structure the gift to your advantage.
Life Insurance – A good way to insure many lives for years to come
A gift of life insurance that you no longer need is another way to fulfill your charitable goals. You can receive a current income tax charitable deduction when you assign ownership of a policy to HSVC and name us as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. If the policy is not fully paid-up, you can take a deduction for the annual premiums. Even if you wish to continue to hold your life insurance policy, you can still name the HSVC as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of the policy.
Closely Held Stock
Closely held stock typically is held by the owner of a corporation who has not received dividends on the stock. The owner can sometimes release retained earnings from the business through a charitable gift, without being taxed at both the corporate and personal level. This somewhat complicated transaction requires careful planning and attention to IRS statutes. Call us or contact your financial advisor to discus your individual situation.
Founder Stock –Entrepreneurial Opportunity
A company donating founder stock can claim a tax deduction at the beginning of its business venture, when such deductions can be especially helpful. If the business is successful, non-profits can often sell founder stock to realize substantial gains. The donating company receives the tax deduction regardless of whether the business goes forward.
Charitable Bequests: Remembering the Humane Society of Ventura County in Your Will
Charitable bequests allow you to contribute to HSVC without giving away assets you may need during your lifetime. We can provide you and your legal advisor with language to include in your will that ensures that your wishes will be carried out. As with any gift, you can designate a program to support or make an unrestricted bequest and let HSVC determine the best use for the donation. One popular option is to make a bequest in memory or honor of a loved one. Another is to establish an endowment that will provide income in perpetuity. It is helpful if you inform the HSVC of your bequest so the shelter can assure that your gift is properly structured and can be used as you wish. We honor those who remember HSVC win their wills with a plaque in our visitor’s center.
Cash and Real Property
Your will can designate the HSVC as the beneficiary of either a specific amount or a bequest that is a fixed percentage of your estate. You can bequeath securities, real estate, or other property. If your first priority is your family’s well being you can make your gift contingent that other conditions of the will be fulfilled before the HSVC receives a gift. You can also bequeath the assets that remain after other bequests are met. Your estate receives the benefit of freedom from federal estates taxes for the full value of the gift. This option allows flexibility in planning. If your needs change, you can alter a bequest at any time by signing a new will or amending your will or trust.
Retirement Plan Assets
Assets you hold in an individual retirement accounts, such as IRA’s or Keoghs, can be bequeathed to the HSVC. This can be done by individual account or in total. The advantage of bequeathing such retirement assets to a charitable institution is that the bequest escapes both deferred income tax and estate tax that comes due if the assets are transferred to individuals.
Income Producing Gift Plans
Sometimes the best way to manage your money is to give it away.
HSVC can help donors to support programs they value highly while contributing to their own financial security and peace of mind. These investments allow you to take advantage of government tax laws that are designated to encourage philanthropy. Income producing gift plans allow a great deal of flexibility and can allow you to make a gift to HSVC and provide income for yourself or your beneficiaries at the same time. They offer current income tax deduction and may provide an opportunity to avoid or reduce capital gains tax on assets that have substantially appreciated. Plans can also be used to minimize estate taxes. HSVC’s planned giving professionals will work with your to carefully and confidentially shape a gift the meets your needs.
Gift Annuities – Income for Life for you and a benefit for future care of our animal friends
A charitable gift annuity is an extraordinary way to make a gift, increase your income, and slice your tax bill; all in one transaction! Our charitable gift annuity program is offered as a service to the many friends of the HSVC who have expressed a desire to make a gift of significance, while still retaining income from the gift property during their lives.
A charitable gift annuity is a contract in which you exchange a gift of cash or securities for a guaranteed, fixed income each year for the rest of your life. Your gift annuity offers several distinct advantages:
- Income for Life – at an attractive payout rates for one or two lives; often some of the highest payouts available; the older you are, the higher the rate of interest payout;
- Tax Free Income – a large part of your annual payment is tax-free return of principal;
- Capital Gains Tax Saving – when you contribute securities for a gift annuity, you minimize any taxes on your “paper profit”;
- A Tax Deduction Savings – a large part of what you transfer is a deductible charitable gift;
- Personal Satisfaction – from seeing that your donation help animals in need by making a gift of lasting significance.
You can choose how frequently payments will be made – quarterly, semi-annually, annually, one-life or two-life annuities, cash or securities to fund your gift. Cash gifts allow maximum tax-tree income; gifts of securities allow you minimize capital gains taxes.
Charitable Remainder Trusts and Unitrusts: When you prefer an income that varies with market conditions
A charitable remainder percentage unitrust pays a fixed percentage of the value of the trust. This value can change with flections in asset markets, so the amount that your receive can change every year. Since the amount of income you earn is not fixed, unitrusts, unlike annuities, can be a valuable hedge against inflation.
Annuity Trusts: When your goal is a fixed annual income
Annuity trusts provide an annual income that is a fixed dollar amount based on the value of your assets when you place them in the trust. You minimize market risk with an annuity trust, through your earnings may be affected by inflation. You receive the annuity during your lifetime, and the lifetime of a beneficiary, or a specified time up to twenty years. The amount your receive is based on forecasts of future market conditions. If you place appreciated assets in an annuity trust, you avoid capital gains taxes on the assets. You can also take a charitable income tax deduction during the year you make the gift. You have no further responsibility for managing the assets placed in the trust. Older donors who don’t anticipate significant losses from inflation during their lifetimes, and want an income than can depend on, often choose annuity trust as a planned gift option.
Charitable Lead Trusts – When you want to see the difference your gift makes during your lifetime
If your main financial objective is safeguarding your estate from federal estate taxes, a charitable lead trust may be the ideal gift strategy. The trust pays out income to the HSVC for a term you specify. When the term of the trust expires, the principal returns to you or goes to your heirs, but estate and gift taxes have been reduced or eliminated. The advantage of a lifetime lead trust is that you can see the difference your gift makes during your lifetime.