Cash is the simplest way to give to Meredith. You may deduct a cash gift of up to 50% of your adjusted gross income on your federal income tax return. If your gift exceeds 50%, you may deduct the excess during the following five years, up to 50% of adjusted gross income in each carry-over year. A pledge or promissory note is not deductible until it is paid.
Example: Elizabeth writes a check for $5,000 to the Meredith Fund in honor of her 25th Reunion. She claims a $5,000 charitable deduction on her federal income tax return. Because she is in the 30% income tax bracket, her deduction saves her $1,500 (.30 x $5,000) in income taxes. Elizabeth’s $5,000 gift to the school costs her only $3,500 ($5,000 minus $1,500 in income tax savings).