December is in full swing and this is a good opportunity to provide you with our annual end of the year alert to ensure if you are planning on making a charitable donation before 2020, you can do so without any hiccups.
As December 31st is technically the final day for you to make a charitable gift to claim on your 2019 personal tax return, many charities will start to see an increase in contributions and support as the year winds down and the holiday season approaches.
If you are considering contributing to your favourite cause(s), you may want to think about making that gift sooner than later. As the end of 2019 rapidly approaches, many organizations may see an increase in the services they provide which could make things a little trickier when it comes to making your donation before the year closes.
If you have yet to begin the conversation with your favourite organizations or cause about your donation intentions, we highly recommend that you do so immediately before time runs out. Even straightforward gifts of cash or cheque have the potential to create issues as some organizations will close for the holiday season.
Online gifts or gifts mailed with a Canada Post date stamp of 2019 on the envelope can ensure you receive a 2019 donation receipt. If you are mailing, it is worth the time to go into a postal outlet and have them manually hand stamp the envelope. Otherwise the automated Canada Post date stamp may be in January even if the donation was put in the box before the end of the year.
Because we have already reached December, it is likely that a gift in-kind, such as publicly traded securities (shares or mutual funds), cannot be guaranteed simply because of the lack of time to ensure the transfer is made smoothly.
If you are considering this type of gift, you should understand the transfer process will take at least a few days to complete and unforeseen delays, though not common, could make an in-kind transfer stretch even longer than anticipated. Gifts of mutual funds generally take longer than gifts of shares. ECF’s deadlines to ensure these types of gifts will be processed have likely passed by the time you’ve read this. We will still try to do everything we can to complete an in-kind gift, but we cannot guarantee that everything will be finalized before December 31st. If you are considering a gift of securities, contact us immediately to discuss your options.
Keep in mind, the ECF offices will be closed starting at noon on December 24th and will not reopen until Thursday, January 2nd. Most of the staff will not be accessible during this break but if there are urgent questions, you can contact Matt Mandrusiak, one of our Donor Advisors, at 780-974-7923.
We wish you all the best during the holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond!