Tips to Prepare Tax Statements for 2020

Membership, Major Giving, calendar year-end, tax statements

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The new year is not just a busy time to map out your upcoming fundraising objectives, it’s also time to start planning for tax receipts for donors' gifts made the prior year. And while best practice is to refrain from asking for a gift with the statement, this is an opportunity to thank your major, mid-level, and sustaining donors for a year of support.

The 2020 CARES Act had two important provisions for tax deductibility for donor gifts in 2020. As of legislation signed on December 28, 2020 those provisions have been extended to 2021. First, charitable contributions up to $300 in 2020 are considered an “above the line” deduction on donors’ taxes. Second, donors may now claim a charitable deduction up to 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income for cash gifts to nonprofits. There are no significant changes that should impact the compliance component of the tax statements provided to donors. However, compliance isn’t the only concern. Tax statements are a way to engage with donors and be of service to them regardless of how they file their tax return.

The strength of public media is that our supporters use and place a high value on the service stations provide. So, with that lens, strengthening that connection by practicing good stewardship is paramount.

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Tips to Prepare Tax Statements for 2019

Membership, donor cultivation and stewardship, tax statements

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Year-end is not just a busy fundraising time, it’s also time to start planning for tax receipts in the new year. And while best practice often isn't asking for a gift with the statement, this is an opportunity to thank your major, mid-level, and sustaining donors for a year of support.

As reported for 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has made no significant changes that should impact the compliance component of the tax statements provided to donors. However, compliance isn’t the only concern. The standard deduction requirements will affect overall charitable giving. Tax experts and fundraisers alike are still watching this unfold two years later. The Giving USA report in June found giving by individuals totaled an estimated $292.09 billion, declining 1.1% in 2018 (a decrease of 3.4%, adjusted for inflation). While this decrease can’t necessarily be tied to the changes in the tax law, it certainly was a part of economic variables and uncertainty nonprofits experienced in 2018.

The strength of public media is that our supporters use and place a high value on the service stations provide. So, with that lens, strengthening that connection by practicing good stewardship is paramount.

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Preparing 2018 Tax Statements Under New Tax Law

Membership, General Management, calendar year-end, tax statements, tax law

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Sending gift receipts to donors is an end-of-year obligation for all stations. Embedded in this task is also the tremendous opportunity to thank your major, mid-level, and sustaining donors for a year of support.

Of course, there’s been a significant change to tax law since you last mailed your year-end statements. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made no significant changes that should impact the compliance component of the tax statements provided to donors.

Compliance isn’t the only concern. We haven’t been able to predict how changes in the standard deduction requirements will affect overall charitable giving. Tax experts and fundraisers alike are watching this unfold. Therefore, it’s even more critical to communicate to donors that they are public radio’s largest and most important source of funding. This message is important year-round, but should be the foundation of your 2018 year-end communication with donors.

As you prepare your 2018 year-end correspondence, here’s what to keep in mind.

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Tips to Prepare Tax Statements for 2017

Membership, tax statements

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The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will bring a number of changes to the tax code and regulations for nonprofits beginning in 2018. But first you must prepare statements for the year we've just closed: 2017.

Tax statements provide a terrific stewardship gesture to your major, mid-level, and sustaining donors by thanking them for a year of support while providing a receipt for their gifts. Here are some tips to help you get your 2017 statements right.

Review the Rules

Review the IRS Guide for Charitable Contributions: Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements. It’s important to take a look before you get started so you’re up to speed.

Here’s the top-line data for 2017:

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