Cash Gifts

Jack and Tina have been making modest annual gifts to Cato for years. Last year was an excellent year financially for them: Jack received an unexpected bonus, and a big block of restricted stock vested for Tina. Jack and Tina decided to share their good fortune with Cato in the form of a large cash gift.

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The simplest and by far the most common gift strategy is an outright gift of cash, which is completed on the date delivered or mailed (or charged, in the case of gifts by credit card). You receive an immediate charitable contribution income tax deduction for the full gift value, up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income(AGI). If a portion of your gift cannot immediately be deducted because of the AGI limitation, that “unused” portion may be carried forward and used for five years. Beyond this AGI limitation, there are other broad limitations on deductability—so make sure you consult your tax advisor. Keep in mind that many employers will match your gift dollar for dollar (or more), providing additional support for the Cato Institute. Often, these programs are also extended to retirees. Please check to see if you qualify for a matching‐​gift program.