Your next charitable giving tax break might be in your attic

Whether you’d like to give away several thousand bushels of soybeans or a prehistoric fossil, there just might be a charity that’s willing to receive it.

Year-end tends to be a busy time for individuals who are in a giving mood. Donors seeking a break on their 2018 taxes must make their charitable contributions before Dec. 31.

Keep in mind that it’s also harder to take the deduction for charitable giving, as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has roughly doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly and limited certain itemized deductions, including a break for state and local taxes.

As a result, fewer people are expected to itemize in 2018 and fewer individuals will qualify to claim their charitable donations on their taxes.

For those who can itemize, cash donations and highly appreciated stocks often are the items generous filers want to give away. However, these aren’t the only things charitable organizations are willing to take.

For instance, Fidelity Charitable received close to $1 billion in so-called complex assets in 2017.

“Complex assets are basically what isn’t traded publicly, including private shares, bitcoin, real estate and bags of corn,” said Amy Pirozzolo, vice president at Fidelity Charitable.

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