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Eight ways to keep giving and save more this holiday season

RBC Wealth Management offers tips on charitable giving for challenging times

TORONTO, November 26, 2009 — While the economy is showing signs of recovery, many Canadian families still face tough decisions about how to give as much as they would like by year-end. RBC Wealth Management offers practical advice on making your gifts go further.

"This holiday season, take a family approach to giving to get the most out of your donations," said Anthony Maiorino, Vice President, RBC Wealth Management Services. "Integrating your giving with your financial planning, tax management and family goals can significantly reduce the taxes you pay and increase the benefits for yourself, your family and the causes you support."

RBC Wealth Management's advice for making your gift go further:

1. Plan your giving as a family - Some families agree on a vision and make a long-term commitment to support selected causes. Asking your kids to help choose the causes can be a great way to teach them about giving.

2. Give to a worthy cause in lieu of Christmas presents for adult family members - Consider agreeing to donate the money you would normally spend on a new sweater for your brother-in-law to a charity instead.

3. Establish your own charitable gift fund - A charitable gift fund allows you to create a lasting charitable legacy without the time and expense of a private foundation. A registered public foundation administers the assets, but you can decide which charities receive grants. Investment earnings in the fund grow tax-free and are available to fund selected causes every year.

4. Check for donations unclaimed in previous years and combine tax receipts with your spouse - Donations can be carried forward for five years. If you make small annual gifts, consider carrying forward your donations and then claiming the combined donations to benefit from the higher tax credit for gifts over $200. Maximize your family tax savings by claiming all donations on the higher-income spouse's tax return.

5. Donate depreciated securities to reduce your taxes - This could be a good time to donate underperforming securities for a tax break. If you donate a security in kind that has a capital loss, you can use the loss to reduce your capital gains. After applying capital losses against any capital gains in the current year, you can carry the balance of the loss back three years or forward indefinitely to offset capital gains in future years.

6. Give the gift of life … insurance - Consider gifting a life insurance policy. You are eligible for a donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy when you transfer ownership to a registered charity. While you will be taxed on any gain, it should be offset by the donation tax credit, and in fact the credit may be larger than the gain. If you are still paying the premiums after ownership is transferred, you will get a tax receipt each year.

7. Designate a charity as a beneficiary on your RSP or RIF - This strategy avoids probate taxes on your registered plan. In addition, your heirs can claim a donation tax credit on your final tax return to offset tax owed by your estate.

8. Donate through your company to get a tax-free dividend - For owners of an incorporated business, a donation of publicly-traded securities from the company may allow for a tax-free dividend to the owner through the use of the Capital Dividend Account.

Consult with your financial advisor and a tax professional to determine whether these strategies are right for you.

RBC Wealth Management Services has a team of more than 80 financial planners, tax specialists, accountants, high-net-worth specialists, lawyers, will and estate planners and other professionals who work closely with advisors and clients across RBC channels to deliver a level of integrated wealth management that has traditionally only been available to the most affluent families.

About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management directly serves affluent and high-net-worth clients in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia with a full suite of investment, trust and other wealth management solutions. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third-party distributors to institutional and individual clients, through its RBC Global Asset Management division. RBC Wealth Management has more than $490 billion of assets under administration, nearly $240 billion of assets under management and more than 4,500 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers and trust officers. RBC Wealth Management was recognized as the Outstanding Private Bank in North America by Private Banker International in October 2009.

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For more information, please contact:
Tanis Robinson,
RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-1031

Matt Gierasimczuk,
RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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11/26/2009 08:42:46