To Give or Not To Give (In 2012)

Hurry up and wait - that's what some financial advisers are telling their clients as an uncertain tax environment makes it tough to plan charitable giving in 2012.

With 2013 almost upon us and only two short months of 2012 to go, now is the time to act. For some matters, like planning for your estate and gifts to loved ones, that means acting with immediacy. But then again it might still mean to just hurry up and wait!

Depending upon your goals and hopes for the coming year, it might still be time to wait when it comes to charitable gift planning.

The rallying cry of “hurry up and wait” regarding charitable giving was sounded by Reuters in a recent article titled “Charitable giving in unclear tax times.” One reason for playing “wait and see” is that we are still in the dark when it comes to the tax implications 2013 will bring. In fact, that darkness may not lift until long after the election, especially with retroactive tax policies a possibility.

Nevertheless, giving is easy, as far as major financial moves go. So you can wait and see if some definitive answer pops up before year’s end. If 2013 will be a bad year tax-wise, and the gift can wait until 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day, then the deduction can do the most good to offset new taxation. But, on the other hand; you might not want to waste the giving opportunity this year, and a deduction for 2012, by that minute.

In the end, you might end up going with your gut instinct on this one either way. Unfortunately, your legal, financial and tax advisors likely do not have a crystal ball to help you make the call.

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Reference: Reuters (October 18, 2012) “Charitable giving in unclear tax times