End of Year Donations


To All Members of the Beth Am Family

In case you weren't aware, there are ways to donate that are tax advantageous for certain congregants.

First, as those of us who have attained age 70 ½ before the end of 2019, we must take “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMDs) from our various retirement accounts such as traditional IRA accounts, 401(k) accounts, etc.

Anyone over age 70 ½ taking RMDs can make a “Qualified Charitable Distribution” (QCD) up to $100,000 annually directly from their IRA by the trustee to a qualified charity. Included in the total amount would be the RMD for the current year.

So what does all that mean for someone over 70 ½? It means that instead of taking your RMD personally and having to pay tax on it, you can instruct the trustee to make the direct distribution of any amount (up to $100,000 annually) DIRECTLY PAYABLE TO: Temple Beth Am The Reform Jewish Congregation of Merrick and Bellmore, Inc.

This direct contribution reduces your taxable income as it is not included at all and can be designated by you to pay your dues pledge in full along with any other fees and Kol Nidre pledges.

Another form of charitable giving that will save you money is to directly contribute appreciated stock (this applies to people of any age). Even with the latest ups and downs of the market many of us still have stock that has greatly appreciated in value over the years. This would be a direct donation of the stock to the temple by instructing your investment advisor to make the transfer by 12/31/19. You do not sell the stock and, therefore, do not pay tax on the capital gains. Instead, you get a charitable donation on your tax return for the appreciated fair market value of the stock.

So now you’re saying “but I won’t be able to itemize.” Actually, depending on the fair value of the stock along with the 10k SALT (state and local taxes) limitation and mortgage interest you may be able to.

BUT THERE’S MORE!! New York has decoupled from the federal system. One of the provisions is that NYS does not follow the feds on itemized deductions so you will get all the deductions on your NYS tax return as in the past. So, if you can’t itemize on your federal return you may still be able to do so on your NYS return and get the full benefit of charitable giving.

The above is not meant to be professional tax or legal advice and is based on current tax law in effect for 2019. It is highly recommended that you consult your tax advisor to determine if these are the right moves for you.