Are you looking for interesting ideas to help you and your family express your generosity? Join Charity Village as they Tweet a fresh idea each day during the month of December.
Using the hashtag #spiritofgiving you can be encouraged by simple ideas and share your own suggestions during the holiday season. Charity Village is Canada’s super site for the nonprofit sector.
Have you thought about the income tax benefits of giving? Canada Helps reminds us that Dec. 31 is the deadline.
Remember that tax credits are only given for registered charities. Canada Revenue Agency provides the list at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/charities/.
You can claim both a federal and provincial charitable tax credit for your donation. Federally, you can claim 15 per cent on the first $200 and 29 per cent for any amount donated above $200. In B.C. the amounts are 5.06 per cent and 14.70 per cent.
For example, your financial gift of $500 allows you to claim $117 federally and $54 provincially for a total tax savings on $500 is $171.
Online giving is the ‘green’ way to give because it saves resources like time and paperwork. Canada Helps makes online giving simple and secure for both charities and donors. Select a charity of your choice and give at www.canadahelps.org.
Canada Helps reminds us that spouses and common law partners can claim each other’s donation to maximize tax benefits. Unclaimed donations can be declared for up to five years.
Gifts of stocks or mutual funds give you the largest tax benefit because you avoid capital gains tax while claiming the charitable tax credit.
Now the question is, where do you want to give your money? You can give to local charities through the United Way or the Central Okanagan Foundation.
You can do your own research and select from the nonprofit organization’s listed at www.kcr.ca, under Community Info Search.
Dawn Wilkinson is the coordinator for the Community Information and Volunteer Centre. Go to www.kcr.ca to create your volunteer profile.
250-763-8008, ext 24