Each year we plan on giving gifts at Christmas. We get asked for the work place gift. We shop for the perfect gift for our loved ones. We spend a lot of time and money in December on gifts that are out of proportion to the rest of the year. We do all of this in celebration of the greatest gift ever given in our Heavenly Father sending His only begotten Son that in the flesh He would save us from our sins on the cross and in the resurrection.
Yet despite all the gift giving, have you ever really thought about the fact that you cannot really give a gift? Ultimately, all things belong to our Father and are His to give. So in essence, we don’t really “give” gifts. We “transfer” them.
As we engage in this transfer of blessings this year, consider gifts that also support ministry. If you are older than 70, you may have Required Minimum Distribution on a retirement account that you can use to support the Lord’s work, at the District or in your congregation. Using charitable rollover from your qualified retirement plans, you avoid paying taxes and maximize the greatest amount of gift transference. So for example, if you have $5,000 of RMD this year, and you take that distribution, you may very well owe $1,250 of income tax on it. But if you use that RMD for your support of ministry, you avoid the tax and instead of your gift being $3,750, you could give $5,000. Plus, you still receive your charitable deduction for the transference of the gift!
Maybe you have appreciated stock and are afraid to cash it in because of capital gains tax. Maybe you have a piece of appreciated property that is costing you more in taxes than any value you receive from it. Again, these become great opportunities for “transferring the blessings”.
If you need help, send me an email or give me call.
God bless your Christmas as you celebrate Him as the true giver of every perfect gift!
Learn more about LCMS Foundation Gift Planning by calling (317) 374-2866 or emailing Andy Behrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.