Details of 2018 Tax Law Changes Finalized

As you may have heard in the news, there are significant changes in the new tax law which may affect your charitable giving in 2018. The LCMS Foundation shared the following information:

If you normally itemize deductions, there are some new provisions in the 2018 bill that will directly affect charitable contributions.

If you are one of the millions of people who will no longer be itemizing your deductions, consider making your 2018 charitable contributions before December 31, 2017. That will allow you to claim the gifts as itemized deductions this year, and avoid wasting the deductions if you make the contributions in 2018 and use the new, higher standard deduction.

Here is a summary of the provisions affecting itemized deductions:

  • The changes will take effect in tax year 2018.
  • The standard deduction will almost double to $24,000 for married couples ($12,000 for single).
  • The deduction for state and local income, property and sales taxes will be capped at $10,000 total for all combined
  • The deduction for interest paid on a home mortgage will remain the same for existing mortgages, but the interest deduction for new mortgages will be capped at $750,000. The deduction for interest paid on a home equity loan incurred for something other than home improvement will be eliminated.
  • The deduction for medical expenses will remain, with the AGI limit lowered from 10% to 7.5% for years 2017 and 2018.
  • The deduction for charitable contributions remains (but you will only be able to take advantage of this benefit if you itemize).

Note: Charitable contributions may be your only opportunity to take advantage of the tax changes coming in 2018. The bill limits your ability to pre-pay your other itemized deductions to take advantage of the deduction this year. However, nothing prohibits you from making your 2018 charitable contributions now. Make sure you make the gift prior to December 31, and you will preserve your ability to claim it as an itemized deduction this year, even if you do not itemize under the new rules next year.

For significant gifts, you may also consider adding to or starting a donor advised fund, which can be used to complete your tax deductible gift now. The donor advised fund will allow you to control the timing and amounts distributed from your fund to the ministries of your choice.

This is intended as general information. Please consult your tax advisor for specific results in your situation.

Stewardship Thought
Ephesians 5:27 “…so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Our Lord has cleansed us with His blood – in His sight we are now pure and holy. He has given Himself, laying down His life for us. Now we are his spotless and beautiful bride. By His sacrifice, we are moved to sacrifice. By His cleansing, we find a desire to ourselves be clean and live blamelessly as He is blameless.

At Concordia we provide several options for making a donation for the work of the church.

Credit Card Donations

You may contribute using a personal credit card. Please click the Donate link to make a donation. When you log in for the first time please create a profile to establish and secure your account.

Direct Deposit – Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

For those who like the convenience of using a direct deposit from your bank account to the church you can sign up for electronic funds transfer EFT. You may already be familiar with this process and may use it to pay other commitments. It provides convenience and ease in handling your contributions. To learn more about how to sign up with Concordia click here.

Offering Envelope

You may choose to use an offering envelope that is provided as a complete set for all weekly and special worship services planned throughout the year. Each person is assigned an envelope number for tracking of each contribution. You will then put your contribution into the envelope and drop it in the worship offering plate during worship. If you are unable to attend worship your envelope can easily be mailed to the church office.