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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

A Good Year to Give Appreciated Stock

By Eleanor Laise





Higher tax rates and strong stock returns make donating appreciated stock an attractive tax-saving move


JewishWorldReview.com | It's standard year-end advice. When making charitable gifts, consider donating appreciated securities instead of cash. But this year, investors should pay special heed to this tax-saving maneuver.

Among the reasons for investors to consider such gift giving before the year ends: Because stocks have posted strong returns this year, many older investors may be looking to trim these holdings anyway--and they may not have many losing investments that they can sell to offset the taxable gains. What's more, upper-income investors this year are facing higher income and capital-gains tax rates as well as an additional surtax on unearned income.

This year's higher tax rates make charitable gifts of appreciated securities "more valuable from a tax perspective," says William Zatorski, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. By donating appreciated securities instead of cash, you not only get the income-tax deduction that you would receive when writing a check to charity, but you also avoid paying tax on your capital gains. But recent tax-law changes have added new wrinkles for investors looking to slash their tax bill and support charity--including a limit on itemized deductions for higher-income taxpayers.

To get the biggest tax bang for your charitable buck, you will need to pay attention to income thresholds that trigger higher taxes. Single filers with taxable income of more than $400,000 ($450,000 for joint filers) will pay a top income tax rate of 39.6%, up from 35% in 2012, and a higher long-term capital-gains rate of 20%, compared with 15% last year. Singles with adjusted gross income over $250,000 ($300,000 for joint filers) face a new limitation on itemized deductions. And singles with AGI over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) are subject to a new 3.8% surtax on net investment income.

LOOK FOR WINNERS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO

When sifting through your taxable accounts for potential gifts, focus on winning investments that you've held for more than one year. If you donate stock held one year or less, you can only deduct your "cost basis" (the original cost), not the current value. And rather than donating losing holdings, you're better off selling those investments, donating the proceeds and using the capital loss to offset gains elsewhere in your portfolio.


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As you review your winners, look for asset classes where you're overweighted and need to trim back anyway. Also, if you've bought those holdings in bits and pieces over the years, "identify the lot that has the lowest basis," says Tracy Green, financial-planning specialist at Wells Fargo Advisors. Donating those shares can save you the greatest amount of capital-gains tax.

Higher-income taxpayers shouldn't let the new limitation on itemized deductions discourage them from donating appreciated securities. The provision reduces total allowable itemized deductions by 3% of the amount by which a couple's AGI exceeds the $300,000 threshold. But even for taxpayers above that threshold, "in a lot of cases it will have very little impact to no impact" on the value of charitable deductions, says Alisa Shin, senior wealth planner at Vanguard.

Consider this example from Vanguard: A married couple has AGI of $400,000 in 2013, and they want to claim $50,000 worth of state and local taxes as itemized deductions. Their allowable itemized deductions are reduced by 3% of $100,000, or $3,000, so they can only claim $47,000 rather than the full $50,000. If they decide to make a year-end charitable contribution of $10,000, the limit on itemized deductions doesn't come into play. The $3,000 reduction has already been absorbed by the non-charitable deductions, so the couple gets the full value of their charitable deduction.

Say, instead, that the couple's only itemized deduction was a $50,000 charitable gift. Because of the new limitations, they would be allowed to write off only $47,000 for the donation.

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Eleanor Laise is Associate Editor ofKiplinger's Retirement Report.



All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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