A&I Wealth Management > Blog > Charitable Giving FAQs: Family Gifts, Tax Limits, and More!

Ever wonder what the tax limits are around charitable giving? Read on to get answers to some of the most common questions. For even more information, visit our Charitable Planning web page.

How much can I give?

You can give away as much as you want to anyone you want at any time you want. Unless you are worried about taxes, in which case you want to be more careful.

The tax limit for 2023 is $17,000. This is called the annual gift tax exclusion. You may give up to this amount from a person, to a person, in 2023. A married couple may double this amount, and if the recipient is married, you may double it again. Two people would be able to give two people $68,000 in a single year without a tax problem.

What if I give more than the tax limit?

If you give more than the annual gift tax exclusion amount, then you are supposed to file a gift tax return, IRS form 709. You are supposed to file it every year until your death, documenting the total gifts you have made to make sure that they do not exceed the lifetime gift limit. Currently, the lifetime limit is linked to the estate tax limit. In 2023 it is the largest it has ever been: $25.84 million.

Can I get a tax deduction by giving to family?

No tax deductions are allowed for gifts to people. You can get a tax deduction for a gift to a charity.

How much is the charitable deduction? How does that amount vary by charity?

Charities file as tax-exempt organizations. But not all tax-exempt organizations are charities. Make sure to talk with your charity to find out what type of charity they are and how much of a tax deduction you will receive for your gift. For the detailed answer to this question, refer to IRS Publication 526.

If your charity is a large organization, they may be filed as a “50% charity.” If that is the case, then you can make an annual tax-deductible cash gift of up to 60% of your taxable income every year. However, if you are making a gift other than cash, your limit is reduced to 50% of your AGI for a gift to a “50% charitable organization.” If you want to make a large gift, ask your charity if they qualify with the IRS as a “50% charitable organization.”

If you are giving to a smaller charity, then they may be subject to a 30% or 20% AGI limit for your tax deduction. And if you are giving to multiple organizations subject to different rules, you will want to get the biggest tax deduction you can. You can refer to IRS Publication 526 for more details, and examples.

Or you can just ask for help from your wealth manager at A&I!

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About the author

Karl Frank, Certified Financial Planner ®, MSF, MBA, MA, is the President of A&I Financial Services LLC, a local business that specializes in wealth management, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Karl cares for business owners and the businesses that care for them. Learn More about Karl.