Since the new tax laws in place doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for single tax payers and $24,000 for those married filing jointly, this means that you need to understand how this affects your itemized deduction planning.
There are changes that repeal or limit many itemized deductions, such that in 2018, 90% of taxpayers will be using the standard deduction. For anyone who is contemplating the standard deduction rather than itemizing, consider putting all of your charitable contributions across alternate years if this will enable you to itemize in a future year but take the standard deduction one year.
One other avenue to pursue if you wish to consider this option is to contribute to a donor advised fund, making distributions to that charitable organization over the course of time.
This is most appropriate if you do not want to give the money to charity all at one time. Annual exclusion gifts should also be considered as end of year options.
For those who want to minimize their exposure to estate taxes, remember that you can gift up to $15,000 to an unlimited number of people every single year without decreasing your lifetime estate tax exclusion or paying gift tax.
If you spread this out over the course of multiple years, such as you would with your charitable contributions, now is a good time to talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer about how this will affect your future planning and needs.
The support of an estate planning attorney can help you to stay on top of all necessary estate planning changes and tax law updates that might affect you and your loved ones. Appropriate tax planning should always be done in conjunction with the support of an accountant and an estate planning professional.