Michigan Hillel teamed up with Telemus for a crash course on year-end tax planning and charitable giving.

There’s a reason they call this the “giving season.” According to the experts, more than 30 percent of all charitable giving takes place during the month of December with 10 percent happening in the last three days of the year.

With that in mind, Michigan Hillel, the largest Jewish student organization at the University of Michigan, teamed up with Southfield-based financial advisory and investment management firm, Telemus, to provide a crash course on year-end tax planning and charitable giving.

About 100 participants locally and across the country signed up online for the educational webinar.

“Telemus has always been focused on giving back to our community both monetarily as well as with our time,” said Bob Stone, a Telemus senior financial life officer and immediate past chairman of Michigan Hillel’s Board of Trustees. “We were approached by Michigan Hillel to put on the webinar and we were more than happy to help.”

Added Michigan Hillel’s Director of Advancement Stacy Carroll, “We have wanted to creatively help our supporters make the most of their philanthropic and financial interests for some time now. This is the first time we’ve done something like this, and it was a great success.”

The webinar was led by Andy Bass, chief wealth officer at Telemus, who talked about changes in the tax laws and how charitable deductions can figure into a year-end planning strategy.

“Charitable deductions are truly one of the last discretionary deductions allowable under the law,” Bass explained. “Any excess contributions that you’ve given are allowed to be carried forward for up to five years and deducted in the future.”

Bass also described how IRA distributions can be paid directly to a charity for those age 70 and a half and older. Other ideas discussed included:
• Contributing to a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) that enables you to donate money in one year and use it in future years to fund charitable needs.
• Donating appreciated assets, like stock, instead of cash, which is an after-tax asset.
• “Bunching” — or making at least two years’ worth of donations in one.

“There are much more tax efficient ways to make your donations other than cash,” Bass said. “They’re very powerful tools and I hope you consider these creative ways of giving as you approach your year-end giving this year.”

To watch the full webinar free of charge, visit telemus.com. For more information about Michigan Hillel or to donate, visit michiganhillel.org.

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