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Have you made charitable donations part of your estate plan?

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When planning your estate, one of your biggest decisions is who you want to leave your money to.
iStock_000017018545XSmall.jpgIf you plan ahead, you may be able to minimize your taxes, create a legacy of philanthropy through charitable donations, and still leave what you want to your family.

The following benefits can result from making a charitable donation:

  • Claim a non-refundable tax credit. Depending upon your province of residence, the benefit to you can be  up to half of what you gave.
  • A donation amount of up to 75% of your net income for the year is eligible for tax credit.  You are allowed to carry forward unused charitable donation receipts for up to five years.  You may save them up and use them all at once to maximize your tax benefit.
  • You can claim a tax credit for the donation made by your spouse or common-law partner.
  • The tax credit is applied to reduce the tax you owe.
  • Save the tax payable on the future growth of your assets. If you don’t intend on using these assets in your lifetime, it may be to your advantage to donate them now while you’re still alive.
  • Corporate donors – you may deduct gifts made to registered charities from taxable income.
  • Qualifying shares or securities gifted to registered charities are exempt from capital gains tax.
  • Donating a life insurance policy can substantially increase the amount your charity actually gets.
The information provided is based on current tax legislation and interpretations for Canadian residents and is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Future changes to tax legislation and interpretations may affect this information. This information is general in nature, and is not intended to be legal or tax advice. For specific situations, you should consult the appropriate legal, accounting or tax advisor.
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