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How to convert taxes to charity

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Mark Halpern, CFP, TEP, MFA-P is the CEO, WEALTHinsurance.com, based in Markham, Ontario.

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The past year has been challenging for the entire world.

As we await a COVID-19 vaccine, we are acutely aware of our own mortality and how quickly things can change. Our Sages teach us that prayer, repentance, and giving charity will create a better year ahead.

But there’s another great reason to give: It lowers your tax bill.

Here are a few examples to improve your own finances and do good:

A Better Way to Give

Most Canadians donate to charity using cash, credit cards, or a cheque. This is the least efficient way to give. We all have some appreciated securities, mutual funds, or ETFs with “pregnant” taxable gains, Donate those shares and receive a charitable receipt for their full value, versus paying the tax department 27 per cent of the gain. 

Use Marketable Securities: A Recent Case

A business owner had a $1-million income tax liability.

We set up a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. He donated $2-million of his stock to the DAF, and got a $2-million charitable receipt to offset 75 per cent of his tax bill.  The balance is carried forward for up to five years and he didn’t have to pay the $540,000 of capital gains tax. Note that donating corporate-owned securities has even more advantages. 

In the end, his $1-million tax liability turned into charity instead of paying a large sum to the tax department.

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Benefit from Life Insurance While You Are Alive

Harold, a retired accountant in his mid-60s, had a $500,000 life insurance policy he didn’t really need. So, he donated it to his alma mater.  We arranged for an independent actuary valuation of $290,000 for the policy, which he received as a charitable donation, which saved him around $145,000 in taxes. Going forward, the premiums he pays are charitable donations which offset taxes in future years.

Selling your Business?

If you sell your business or real estate assets, you will likely be hit with a very large tax bill. Donating some proceeds to charity can offset all or part of the tax. Then consider using the tax savings to fund a corporate-owned life insurance policy, so that your family is reimbursed fully for all your charitable good will.

CPP Philanthropy™:

A husband and wife, both 65, receive CPP benefits of about $26,000 a year — money that gets taxed at 54 per cent, invested, and re-taxed again.

Consider using the CPP to pay the premiums on a $1.4-million joint-and-last-to-die life insurance policy. If the charity is the owner of the policy, you pay no tax on your CPP.  If you name your favourite charity as a beneficiary, on death, this will create a donation receipt of $1.4-million, saving your estate about $700,000.

Donating to favourite charities can be emotionally fulfilling, and financially rewarding, enabling you to preserve more for loved ones, and so much more.

RRSPs and RIFs:  The government is biased against widows, divorcees, and singles

If you are single, divorced, widowed, or never married, the tax department will scoop up to 54 per cent of your RRSP or RIF savings when you die. Consider naming a charity as the beneficiary for some or all of your RSP or RIF, so there are no taxes and you are remembered for leaving a large donation to your favourite charity versus a big cheque to the tax department.

Our Passion

Our corporate goal is to create $100-million of new charity every year by working with our clients, generous donors of non-profits and working with allied professionals, e.g.: lawyers, accountants, investment and insurance advisors, who are the gatekeepers for many clients’ wealth. 

Create Your Own Family Legacy:  There has never been a better time

Donating to favourite charities can be emotionally fulfilling, and financially rewarding, enabling you to preserve more for loved ones, and creating a family legacy that will carry your name for many years to come with your children, and more importantly, with your grandchildren.

Please be in touch to arrange a no-obligation consultation to preserve your hard-earned money.

Call 416-871-4357 or email [email protected]

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year!

Mark Halpern, CEO of WEALTHinsurance.com, is a Certified Financial Planner, Trust & Estate Practitioner and Master Financial Advisor – Philanthropy, and one of Canada’s top life insurance specialists. He is a Trustee of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

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