Important Year-End Giving Information: Thank you for your partnership with the university to make quality Christian education available to deserving students. By way of reminder, the FPU Advancement Office as well as the entire campus will be closed from December 21 until January 2, 2019.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when planning your year-end charitable contributions:
Under the "delivered when mailed" rule, if a taxpayer mails a check to a charity the date of mailing is deemed the date of delivery if there are no restrictions on the time or manner of payment and the check is honored when presented. Normally, the date on a U.S. mail postmark will conclusively establish the date of mailing. There are three exceptions:
- Postdated checks. The date of mailing will not make any difference if the check is postdated. A postdated check is not an immediately payable contribution, but it is a promise to pay on the date shown;
- Checks that bounce. Generally, if a check is dishonored for insufficient funds, the gift will not be deemed to have been made when it was mailed or delivered;
- Checks from an IRA for a Qualified Charitable Contribution (see below).
Contributions made to a charity by credit card are deductible as a charitable contribution in the year that the charge is made. Therefore, contributions made by credit cards that are processed by midnight on December 31 will be deductible for the tax year. Charges processed any time after that will be deductible for the new tax year.
The contribution of investment securities becomes deductible when the gift securities have passed beyond the donor’s control. For example, if stock is delivered through a broker or bank that acts as the agent of the donor in transferring the stock into the name of the donee, the gift is not deductible until the transfer is reflected on the books of the corporation. The same result is reached when the donor sends a stock certificate to the issuing corporation or the transfer agent with instructions to reregister the stock in the name of the donee charity.
Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCD) from an IRA
A QCD is a transfer directly from the IRA to a charity, it counts against the RMD, and doesn’t count as income. The donor can give up to $100,000 per year this way, even if the RMD is much less. HOWEVER: When the donor writes a check from an IRA checkbook to a charity, the donation is not recognized until the custodian transfers the funds to the charity after the check is deposited. In such cases, the U.S. mail postmark is of no value in determining when the gift was made. Even if the check is deposited by the charity, it is still not recognized as a gift until the IRA custodian transfers money to the charity to cover the check as it is processed.
For further information about your situation consult your tax professional or legal advisor.