Give to Charity, Not the Government

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Creative tax strategies for those with generous hearts

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to pay taxes.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to be in control of who gets your money, when they get it, and how they use it.

You just have to be smart and creative to make that happen.

As a wealth planner, a big part of my mission is to help facilitate and create the structure for greater Kingdom impact for our clients. We know the government is a poor steward, so let’s get creative and see how much money we can legally direct toward Kingdom causes that are well-structured and actually serving a need instead of letting the government take that money in taxes.

There are two keys to making this happen.

One, have a team of knowledgeable advisors and counselors who know your hopes and dreams, who understand what’s important to you, and who can see the big picture at the same time they’re looking at narrow parts.

Two, ask questions, keep asking questions, and never assume that what you want can’t be done.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17, NKJV)

As members of a society, we have a responsibility to live in accordance with the rules of that society, and that includes paying taxes. That’s part of rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.

At the same time, we don’t have to pay more than the law requires. And if we are being good stewards, we won’t. We will use our blessings (money and other gifts) to give to God the things that are God’s.

I never make presumptions about what motivates our clients to give, but I admit to taking great pleasure when I can help someone increase their charitable giving by decreasing their tax bill. And I’ve never had anyone tell me that they’d rather pay taxes than give to a worthy charity.

The U.S. Tax Code is nearly 7,000 pages long, not including regulations and guidelines. It makes sense that no one can be an expert in all of it. That’s why it’s so important to never assume that something can’t be done and to never accept no the first time you hear it. You should always ask what the exception is, and even what the exception to the exception to the exception is. And if you can’t get a good answer from one source, go to another.

It’s perfectly fine to drive your financial team crazy with questions. Ask us for our ideas and tell us yours—no matter how far-fetched you think they may sound. We just might be able to figure out a way to do what you want or come up with an alternative that will accomplish your goal.

If God has given you an idea, he wants you to follow through, to take the next necessary steps to make it happen. Let us help. It’s part of being a good steward of the resources God has entrusted to us.

How to Streamline Your Charitable Giving

This blog is not intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor.

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