Make giving part of your daily life through cash donations or donations of Non-Registered Securities
Cash donations are the most common way to make an impact. Many employers offer automatic payroll deductions or the charitable organization can set up pre-authorized debit options through your bank account or credit card. Pre-planned giving helps charities do their work and, in return, you receive a tax donation receipt which can be claimed on your tax return as a credit.
Alternatively, if you are holding publicly traded securities that have appreciated in value in your non-registered account, you can donate them “in-kind” to a charity. In return, you’ll get a tax receipt equal to the fair market value of the securities donated, and not be taxed on the capital gains accrued on those securities, as you would if you sold the securities during your lifetime.
Arrange future gifts through your estate planning
Deciding how to distribute your estate in advance helps ensure loved ones or important charities will be taken care of at your passing. You can do this by: leaving a cash legacy; directing specific assets (e.g. publicly traded shares or land); or bequeath a share of the residue of your estate. Outlining your charitable wishes in your will ensures you can enjoy the use of your assets while you are alive, knowing the charities important to you will benefit in your will. Enhanced charitable tax credits are also available at this time.
Alternatively, A Charitable Remainder Trust offers tax benefits that a living trust provides, with the remainder passing directly to a charity in your name as a beneficiary upon your death.
Establish a legacy through a donor-advised fund by donating a lump sum now, spread among various charities or distributed over several years. This is a more cost- effective alternative to a private foundation. You receive the tax receipt when you make the donation and then can allocate funds to any Canadian registered charity.
Charitable donations attract both federal and provincial non-refundable tax credits. Federally, you receive a tax credit of 15% for the first $200 of annual charitable donations, which jumps to 29% for cumulative donations above $200.