Guess how we know New Year’s Eve celebrations are right around the corner? When 11th hour email pleas from groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for year-end donations land in our inbox. Aside from negotiating discriminatory estate tax laws — where “spouses,” but not unwed partners, enjoy tax breaks when leaving their worldly possessions to their surviving lovers — it’s that pesky income tax you’ve got to worry about. And depending on your desire to engage in checkbook do-gooding, and your means, you might be interested in tossing a few bucks to your favorite LGBT (or civil liberties) non-profit to score a tax write-off before the ball drops in Anderson Cooper’s lap. So we want to know: Have you made, or are you planning on making any year-end donations to LGBT-oriented non-profits?
If you are, and you’re willing to share, tell us:
• Who you’re sending money to
• Whether it’s a new donation or one you make every year
• Whether the tax-deduction plays a factor in your decision
• Whether you’ve changed your giving this year, or in recent years, to direct funds to different groups
If you aren’t making a charity donation, tell us:
• Whether it’s because of a financial situation, or if you just haven’t found a non-profit you want to support
• Who, in a perfect world (with disposable income for charities), you would donate to
And remember: Current federal tax code lets any person give an individual up to $13,000 without any gift tax penalty, which means you’re free to donate low five-figures to a loved one who’s battling a monstrous healthcare bill, who just lost a job, or who just needs some holiday cheer. Maybe you’ll go this route instead?
(Note: We are not qualified tax professionals! Consult one before making any donation or gifting decisions.)